The Archbishop of York is inviting churches and congregations across the UK to join him in supporting WaterAid’s life-giving bottles Harvest Appeal, and help give communities in some of the world’s poorest countries access to life-saving water.
The Archbishop, Dr John Sentamu, is supporting the fundraising appeal that aims to help people living in countries like drought-ravaged Zambia where extreme weather events, expected to worsen with climate change, are making life even harder for the 5.4 million people there already living without access to clean water.
For 27-year-old Orine from Moompo village in southern Zambia, prolonged drought – the worst in the region for 35 years – has forced the young mother of six to forage for leaves, fruits and seeds to feed her family.
“We go in the bush to look for wild fruits, some leaves and other edible roots. We pick those and eat while we wait for another day,” says Orine. “Our minds have been burning with ideas on what to grow if we had plenty of water.”
Orine and the rest of her community rely on a hand-dug well for their water. The drought means the well frequently runs dry and even when water is available, there’s not enough for all their needs.
“Life would be so much easier if we had water,” says Orine. “We could plant crops, harvest them, keep some and sell others for cash to meet our other daily needs.”
Congregations up and down the country can help by filling empty bottles with loose change, which will transform the lives of people like Orine by delivering clean water to drought-hit communities.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, says:
“As I look forward to celebrating harvest this year, I will also be thinking of those around the world who will be unable to celebrate a bounty of crops and full dinner plates.
“With climate change making dry seasons longer and wet periods more intense, please join me in supporting WaterAid’s fight against hunger this harvest. After the worst drought in 35 years ravaged southern Africa last year, many were left unable to grow food and feed their families.
“Please support WaterAid to drill boreholes in communities affected by drought ensuring year round access to clean water and that no families face another dry season unable to grow food for their children.”
WaterAid is calling for churches across the UK to join together this harvest and fight hunger. The coins collected in bottles will be used to reach communities with year-round access to clean water, meaning they will no longer face dry seasons with empty food stores.