In the week of World Water Day, on 22 March, tens of thousands of pupils all over the Netherlands took part in the Walking for Water event, which is organised every year by AMREF Flying Doctors. Prior to the event, Tauw gave guest lectures in various schools about the importance of clean drinking water to enthuse the pupils for this walk.
Primary school pupils walk six kilometres with a backpack containing 6 litres of water. This is a daily task for many of their peers in developing countries. Walking for Water gives pupils in the Netherlands the opportunity to experience what this is like. The children find sponsors for their effort from among their relatives, neighbours and friends. The money raised is spent on AMREF’s water and sanitation programme in Kajiado, Kenya, a project sponsored by Tauw.
‘Wow, I didn’t know I used so much water in the shower’. ‘We also collect rainwater at home, just like Elisa’. These and many other surprised comments were made by the pupils attending Tauw’s guest lecture. During the lecture, Tauw employees told them about Elisa, a Maasai girl who is able go to school every day, partly because of the well that has been dug in her village. We also talked about trachoma, which may cause blindness if not treated on time. AMREF tackles this problem by training competent nursing staff in the region and improving and increasing water supply. The pupils raised money for this work prior to the charity walk. As guest lecturers we were able to make them even more enthusiastic about this and to teach them about the importance of clean and safe drinking water, both here and in Kenya.