Ethiopia beckons for three colleagues spreading the message of clean water and sanitation

Three Yorkshire Water colleagues are swapping their normal working life for 10 days on a trip to Ethiopia in support of WaterAid and the work that they do to support local communities.

Anna Murphy from Leeds, David Rose from Guiseley and Henry Dixon from Alwoodley will be travelling out to Ethiopia on 18th June to see first-hand the difference that local communities in Ethiopia are seeing thanks to the fund-raising efforts of our partnership with WaterAid.

During the trip, Anna, David and Henry will be working with a team of people to run workshops for representatives of local water companies through the 20 towns project – a five-year partnership project between WaterAid and Yorkshire Water to support the delivery of safe water and sanitation to 20 towns in Ethiopia.

Following a fact-finding trip to Ethiopia in 2014, which David went on, we have been working closely with engineers from the University of Leeds to develop a process to help locals understand where the main risks are to their health because of issues with sanitation.

This will be the basis of a series of workshops whilst the trio are out in Ethiopia; to look at the challenges faced by locals every day, and help to spread the message about WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities and services. The aim is to help them understand the risks, and how to come up with solutions to deliver better sanitation.

Anna, who is the Joint Vice Chairperson for Yorkshire WaterAid, said: “It’s really important to see WaterAid as more than just a fundraising organisation which is why projects such as this are so important. We actually get to work with communities to make sustainable changes.”

We recently scooped a Third Sector Charity Award and were named runner up in the Best International Sustainable Community category at the National CSR Awards for our 36-year partnership with WaterAid.

In the past three years our Big Wish programme has involved 842 colleagues and nearly 2,000 hours of volunteer time and raised more than £731,000 through a series of innovative initiatives, such as an industry-first text to donate number and a donation for every customer who switched to paying their bill by direct debit.

The programme goes further than donations by using our purchasing power to buy vital equipment which has allowed 62,000 more people to be reached with safe, clean water and saved WaterAid approx. £100,000