The Future is Equal

Oxfam Water Challenge launches for 2011

On Saturday, March 19, up to 300 people will be at the Oxfam Water Challenge 2011 at Narrow Neck Beach, Devonport to fundraise for Oxfam New Zealand’s vital water and sanitation work in some of the world’s poorest regions. During the course of the day, teams of four will negotiate a series of difficult challenges which require team members to use their strength, speed and skill as they struggle to carry a 20-litre container of water over the finish line.

On Saturday, March 19, up to 300 people will be at the Oxfam Water Challenge 2011 at Narrow Neck Beach, Devonport to fundraise for Oxfam New Zealand’s vital water and sanitation work in some of the world’s poorest regions.

This annual top town style relay is an event that aims to raise awareness of the millions of women and children who spend hours a day carrying heavy containers of water to and from their homes. These are precious hours that women could instead use to tend to their family and farms, and children could go to school.

During the course of the day, teams of four will negotiate a series of difficult challenges which require team members to use their strength, speed and skill as they struggle to carry a 20-litre container of water over the finish line.

Members of the Auckland water and wastewater industry have 27 teams involved, an increase from last year. “Like so many of the businesses within the water sector, they realise the importance of safe, clean water for communities in some of the world’s poorest countries,” says Katherine Mason, Oxfam New Zealand Water Partnerships Manager.

“We are delighted to have the support of industry leaders, Beca, Conneq and Opus. Without their assistance we would be unable to run this annual fundraising event.”

Profits raised will go towards Oxfam New Zealand’s Water for Survival programme, which provides safe water and sanitation for people in developing countries. Ill-health from drinking dirty water is one of the most serious threats to human life. Kiwis rarely have to think about it but for millions of people around the world it is a reality.

“Globally, millions of people live without safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Oxfam believes that access to these essential services is a priority in overcoming poverty and poor health and stimulates economic growth,” says Andy Thomson, Oxfam Water Programme Manager.

“Our work addresses these immediate needs in the Pacific and East Asia. We improve access to safe water and sanitation, our work directly impacts on improved health, education and wellbeing.”

Oxfam New Zealand is working in Bougainville and the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and East Timor to help developing communities improve their access to safe water and sanitation.

Access to clean water saves lives, reduces the spread of diseases, eases the burden on women, helps children spend more time at school, enables people to water their crops and strengthens long term livelihoods.

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