CAFOD celebrates World Water Week

It’s World Water Week this week, so what does this mean for us?

On average, every person in the UK uses 150 litres of water every day. In Uganda

Proscovia with water bucket

Proscovia, age 14, bringing water home in Uganda

it’s more like 15 litres a day, hardly a surprise when the journey to get it can take hours and be fraught with danger. This lack of access to water obviously has a significant impact on health but it also prevents young women from going to school when they have to spend so long collecting it.

It’s for this reason that CAFOD funds water projects in 15 countries across Africa and Asia. With your help, we are able to bring drinking water to 400,000 people, provide toilets for 166,000 people and train 174,000 people on good hygiene like handwashing.more like 15 litres a day, hardly a surprise when the journey to get it can take hours and be fraught with danger. This lack of access to water obviously has a significant impact on health but it also prevents young women from going to school when they have to spend so long collecting it.

water filter

A CAFOD water filter

World Water Week provides an annual opportunity for all of us to focus on the challenges that face the world today in providing everyone with safe access to clean water. Of course, unless we happen to be a scientist or a government minister, it might seem like there is little we can do but there are, at least, two easy things that would help:

I remember visiting a refugee camp in the West Bank many years ago and being generously invited by a family to share their meal. Aware that we’d been outside all day, and anxious to make us feel as comfortable as possible, our host invited us to wash our hands; but their water supply was extremely limited and so, whilst back home I might have washed my hands under a gushing tap, we had to manage with what was little more than a trickle. I’ve never forgotten this and, ever since then, I have done my best to save water. I’m far from perfect but I hope, that just by trying, I am, in some small way, showing solidarity with my hosts that day, as well as others all around the world.So how will us saving water in England and Wales help people in Uganda and elsewhere? It’s not an easy question to answer but one of CAFOD’s values is that of solidarity. We don’t just aim to give people money, we try to walk alongside the poor, making their cause our cause, uniting in action and prayer. Somehow it seems wrong to waste our water resources, no matter how plentiful they are, when our sisters and brothers have to go without.

Catholics across Newcastle raise over £15,000 to ‘turn on the taps’ across the world this Easter 

Katie Binns reports on some amazing efforts for our Lenten appeal.

Uganda Lent 2016 parish photo Proscovia

Proscovia no longer had to trek for miles to get water for her village in Uganda.

Parishioners and pupils in the Newcastle area have raised an astounding £15,692.31 for Catholic aid agency CAFOD’s Lenten appeal. Catholics across the UK were asked to help ‘turn on the taps’ throughout Lent in a bid to provide clean and safe water around for those in the poorest communities.

St. Cuthbert’s School in North Shields held a Lenten Lunch for the students and teachers to raise awareness about the appeal whilst St. Stephen’s Primary School in Longbenton raised money by turning their regular healthy food snack shack into a soup shack. The school’s representative, Kate Swaddle, said:

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Children from St. Cuthbert’s School. North Shields.

“The pupils realized that having access to clean water helped and impacted on hygiene, sanitation and the children’s education as they could collect water more quickly than before with the help of this appeal.”

CAFOD’s Community Participation Coordinator in Newcastle, David Cross, said:

“Being able to turn on a tap and have clean water is something we normally take for granted. That’s why we’re so grateful to everyone in Newcastle who have raised money for our Lent appeal, helping families to access this basic right and empowering girls to get an education and fulfil their potential. It’s brilliant to think that their efforts will have the double the impact with the UK Government matching the money raised.”

The money raised will enable the taps to be turned on in villages around the world by repairing or providing water pumps and training in order to maintain them. It will also fund hygiene programs, education in sanitation, and the building of latrines. Matched funds from the UK Government will enable access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene programs to over 300,000 people in Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Join us online and learn more about CAFOD’s work in Uganda!

Uganda 2016

school children at water pump in Uganda (CAFOD/David Matua)

This  Lent Fast Day, Friday 19 February, from 1:30 – 2:30pm, you are invited to join a webinar  to hear how your support has made a difference in the lives of real people.

This Lent you will hear all about how you can ‘turn on the taps’ for communities in Uganda. In this webinar Catherine Ogolla, our country representative for Kenya and Uganda, and her team will share stories of communities in North East Uganda.This Lent your donations with be matched by the UK government up to the value of £3.5 million so we can make double the difference.

Why join? Webinars with CAFOD are an amazing way to visit the countries we work in. You can hear from the people working on the ground who bring the projects you support to life. It’s not just about listening, you will also have the opportunity to ask our Uganda team questions and hear what other CAFOD supporters think too.

How does it work? Taking part in a webinar is easy. All you need to do to is click on the link below and register with your name and email. You will then receive a confirmation email with a link you can use to join the webinar. In order to listen you will need either speakers or headphones.

Register now>>

Questions?  If you’d like to join, but you aren’t sure how, email Elly on or call 0207 095 5332