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TED co-organizes The World Walks for Water in Lesotho

Join in 6km of action for water and sanitation!

The World Walks for Water

World Water Day
March 22-2011

 

The World Walks for Water is an event meant to raise awareness on the global water and sanitation crisis. All over the world thousands of people celebrated the World Water Day by joining together to walk 6 km to remind decision makers worldwide that millions of people are affected by the crisis and to stand together for WASH for ALL.

Women and children walk 6 km on average every day to collect water for their basic needs!

That is why people who participated in the events walked 6 km as a symbol of the crucial truth all over the world.

In Lesotho WASH United coordinated by Technologies for Economic Development (TED) organized the event in collaboration with the Environmental Health Division of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Berea. The route started at Maqhaka Holy Family Health Centre in the morning, passed at Ha Bua Sono and ended at St. Cecilia Primary-School, a community affected by lack of water.

Eight schools participated and each school had its own message to tell the world represented by the following number of pupils at the walk:

were the schools which participated and had prepared messages like e.g. "Water is life!" or "A Pledge for Water in our School!".

Children aged from 8 to 13 had prepared some flags which also expressed their messages to the world. They were really enthusiastic, ran the whole distance without getting tired and had a lot of fun! They created their own “WASH-songs” like “Re kopa metsi!” (”We beg for water!”).

However, not just children joined the event, but also teachers from the 8 schools, parents, and other groups like the Community Health Workers from Berea, the District Rural Water Supply, the representative of the Commission of Water, Environmental Health Division, the Councilors, Chiefs and the Priest.

At the end of the Walk at St. Cecilia, there were performances from each participating group and speeches from officials.

There were dramas, poems, songs and traditional dances which expressed the experiences due to the lack of safe drinking water and carrying water from far away that often leads to rapes and women and children getting killed etc.

They showed children who have to walk distances and fetch water instead of going to school!

Some showed defecation into rivers and then persons who drink water out of these rivers getting ill thereafter.

Expressing the bad reality, the songs were named like "We will die of diarrhea!" and traditional dances showed how to avoid this by washing hands in the right way.

The programme was much diversified and among the performances there were speeches by officials. After the opening prayer Berea’s Principal Chief Mrs. Mamolapo welcomed everybody. Then there were speeches by the Councilor Mr. Makebe, the Res-Chief Mrs. Thamahane, Ms. Koatsa of the Environmental Health Division in Berea, Mrs. Ntoi from Holy Family Health Centre and Mr. Moru of the District (Berea) Rural Water Supply.

After those speeches and the performances of the schools Ms. Mantopi Lebofa from TED delivered a speech to express TED's experiences as WASH United country coordinator and organizer of the event and explained the importance of working together to promote WASH for all as without 1. Safe drinking water, 2. Proper Sanitation and 3. Hygiene, it is difficult to achieve the MDGs giving an example that we may have Free Education but without Water, Sanitation and proper Hygiene in schools, education cannot be effective. She emphasized among others, the need to work together and “United” in promoting WASH for ALL and pleaded with decision makers to bring water closer to people.

Afterwards the District Medical Officer, the District Council Secretary made their speeches followed by the Mr. Senekane, representative of the Commission of Water who orated about the need of safe drinking water and safe sanitation and the efforts by the Ministry for communities to get water as indicated by Mr. Moru who promised the public that next year at the same time communities will have water.

The children took their opportunity to demand water supply from politicians and officials and handed their petition to Mr. Moru of Rural Water Supply who promised to table the petition at the Lesotho Water Week to be held in April 2011.

Pupils’ messages to Decision Maker to accelerate provision of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools.

If there was anybody on this event who had not known the extent of the water and sanitation crisis – he or she became aware of this by the impressions of those performances and speeches.

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