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Transcript Divas

We are WaterAid

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Since 1981, we have been working with some of the world’s poorest people, helping them to access safe water, good sanitation and improved hygiene.

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Today, one in eight people are living without safe drinking water, two-fifths of the world’s population don’t have access to adequate sanitation, and
four thousand children die every day from diarrhoea.

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At WaterAid we want to change this. We work with partners who really understand local issues, and can provide communities with the technical expertise
they need to set up and manage practical and sustainable life-changing projects.

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We also campaign locally, nationally and internationally to change policy and practice, ensuring that water and sanitation are recognised as the first
vital step in overcoming poverty.

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In Burkina Faso, West Africa, many villages don’t have access to a safe water source. People are forced to collect water from anywhere they can, like
rivers or open wells.

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This is the water we are drinking here. Look at it – it’s coloured water.

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I know this water is not good.

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The death of my two children is caused by this poor water quality.

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For my second child who died, the doctor told me to give him his medicine with clean water, but I cannot afford to buy this water, so I had to give him
water from the well and he passed away.

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I’m not the only woman who faces this difficulty. In many of the households here you will find a woman who has lost her child or her children.

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Helping people to access a safe and reliable supply of water is one of our top priorities, which is why we help to develop appropriate and affordable
technologies such as the rope pump.

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My feeling is that the rope pump is very good. With this pump, two people can put it together within one day. It is not expensive. Everything we need
is here. We can make it locally in Burkina Faso.

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In the past I spent a lot of time fetching water. Sometimes I could even spend the whole day fetching only one bucket, but now this has changed. The
water is easily accessible and it is good quality. And the time we save in collecting it, we can use for other activities.

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Also we get less sick now. We can save the money that we would normally have to spend on medicine.

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Rope pumps are just one of the many ways we can have a real impact in helping people to access clean water, from gravity flow schemes, to hand pumps,
or rainwater harvesting tanks, we have developed our expertise alongside the people we help.

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With our partners, we set up water and sanitation committees who take ownership and responsibility for projects. The communities we work with
contribute directly by giving their time, their labour, or by donating affordable sums of money. In this way, we can ensure that our work has a
long-lasting impact that benefits future generations.

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But we can only ensure the success of this work if communities have access to sanitation as well as water. Poor sanitation is an ever-present danger,
and every year sixty million children are born into households without access to toilets.

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In Nepal, many families are forced to live in areas where poor sanitation causes a daily fight for survival.

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Everyone from the Kathmandu valley has connected their sewer line to this river. We have to live by the side of this filthy river that is like a sewer.

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We’ve got very poor sanitation conditions because of this.

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We have to defecate in open areas, and that is very difficult for a woman. The area is very dirty and also dangerous where people defecate.

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Children here suffer frequently from jaundice, typhoid and diarrhoeal diseases.

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We don’t have any money. Our children die waiting for the medicine.

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Just the simplest of solutions can make an enormous difference.

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In the village of Lyaku in Nepal, WaterAid and their partners have helped the community to build their own composting toilets.

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This is my toilet. This is where we defecate into this pit.

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We use one pit for six months, then we close it and use this other one.

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We put ash down, and there is no bad smell.

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When it comes out, it’s safe to handle with your hands.

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I use it for growing vegetables, green leaves, fruits and plants.

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It’s really good, it makes them grow quickly and it’s free.

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If you went to the toilet outside there would be a bad smell and it would be dirty. Now we are free from those things, we don’t have to suffer.

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It’s amazing the difference a toilet can make to people’s lives. They restore dignity, improve health and can encourage teachers to work in local
schools and give girls the chance of an education.

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Composting toilets are just one of the many low-cost, high-impact technologies that we promote to ensure families have a solution that meets their

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Many WaterAid projects start with hygiene education sessions which help communities understand the importance of good hygiene practices, and motivates
them to want to improve their water and sanitation situation.

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We carry out our hygiene sessions from household to household.

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This is the material I use in my training. They are mainly pictures, not many written words, because pictures are worth a thousand words.

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I joined the group because I know it is a good thing. It will keep my family healthy. I learned that it is very important to fetch water with a clean
pot, and also to wash my hands with soap before eating.

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There has been a big change in my village, people are now in good hygiene.

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I really believe the conditions have improved.

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It’s essential to all our work that people are able to raise their voices and make changes for themselves, which is why WaterAid and our partners work
closely with communities to make sure they know that water and sanitation are their human rights.

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In the Dhading district of Nepal, a landowner denied local people access to a water point. WaterAid’s partner, ?Fred Watson? worked with community to
help them regain their right to water.

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I used to think how can they say they can’t provide drinking water for us.

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I had a kind of anger for that.

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We thought we can’t tolerate this.

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?Fred Watson? is the one who really contributed to help resolve this problem.

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They said ‘you have to form a group, a single person can’t do anything, we should go for a collective effort’.

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We got our water by fighting for our rights.

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This local action has empowered the people here to make a lasting difference, and similar advocacy work is helping to support the desire for change in
communities around the world.

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WaterAid works nationally and internationally to influence decision-makers and governments so that they prioritise water and sanitation in their plans
to reduce poverty.

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Water, sanitation and improved hygiene, practical support and advocacy. This is our integrated approach to tackling the spread of water-related
diseases, restoring dignity, creating opportunity, and bringing change for some of the world’s poorest people.

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We have come a long way since 1981, and together we can do so much more – that’s why we want you to get involved. Whether it’s making a regular
donation, taking action, doing a sponsored challenge, or getting your school, company or community to support us in any way they can, we need you to
help us make a difference.

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Find out how at, or call us today on 020 7793 4594. Thank you.