WaterAid urges churches to adopt new green habits this Lent

This Lent, WaterAid is encouraging church congregations to raise money for those being impacted by climate change around the world by switching to more environmentally-friendly habits.

Churchgoers are being invited to pick up a new climate-conscious habit this Lenten season, such as giving up their favourite packaged treat or cycling instead of driving wherever possible, and putting the money saved into a Jar of Change.

The money raised through the Jars of Change Appeal will help to bring clean water, decent sanitation and good hygiene to poor communities around the world that are already feeling the impacts of the climate crisis.

Longer droughts are drying up springs, unpredictable rains are affecting crops, and more frequent and extreme flooding is polluting fragile water sources with salt, mud or faeces. People need a reliable supply of water that keeps pumping through flood, drought and natural disaster.

This Lent, churches will help people like Mouri, 45, from coastal Bangladesh, who has no clean water close to home. Every day, she walks across the cracked, barren land to a muddy pond to collect dirty water for her family, which makes them all sick, meaning expensive medical bills. The water became contaminated when Cyclone Aila tore through the country and flooded whole communities. It stole Mouri’s home, it stole her clean water, and the fertile soil which sustained her family.

Across Bangladesh, nearly 5 million people don’t have clean water. But this Lent, church congregations can transform lives, helping ensure people like Mouri have clean water that keeps flowing through disasters, helping people stay healthy and improving education and livelihoods. 

Molia, 47, is from Mozambique, which is highly vulnerable to cyclones, drought and other extreme weather events. The nearest water source to Molia’s village was 5km away. Molia and three other women dug holes in the sand to find water, but these sandpits provided only dirty, unprotected water which made people ill.

WaterAid worked in Molia’s village to help build a solar-powered water pump, supplying a reliable source of clean drinking water.

Molia said:

“My life has improved. I can pray on time, I wash my clothes and do light work. Lately, I have spent most of my time with my daughter.”

Just £15 could provide a child with water and if a church group raises £288, it could help to pay to test the water quality at four well sites in climate-vulnerable communities, so they can make sure their water keeps them healthy.
As many congregations are currently coming together online, WaterAid has followed suit, offering churches everything they need to participate digitally; including

an all-age talk, Sunday School activities, and stories from climate-vulnerable communities around the world.

Congregations can pay in their fundraising online through our website and via JustGiving.

Marcus Missen, Director of Communications & Fundraising at WaterAid, said:

“By raising money for WaterAid’s Jars of Change Lent appeal, church congregations can help vulnerable families like Mouri’s cope with the changing climate, by giving them a lasting supply of clean water.

“Making one small change to your daily routine this Lent could transform lives, providing clean water to the 1 in 10 people worldwide who don’t currently have access to this basic service. Clean water allows people like Mouri and Molia an equal chance to be healthy, educated and financially secure.”  

Find out more at www.wateraid.org.

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