Monday, 16 August 2010

Water Aid and Ancestors

An interesting diversion on my way back to London from Taunton ; I went to stay with Barbara Frost, a magnificent former Vice Chair of ACEVO and now CEO of WaterAid, and her partner Keith Smith of that well known and well respected third sector Consultancy, Compass.

They live in a gorgeous cottage in a quintessentially English village deep in the Somerset countryside.

And just down the road in the village of Marston Biggot is where my Great Grandmother Eliza was brought up. In the quiet and secluded churchyard is the grave of my Great Great grandparents, George and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was born a few years after the Battle of Waterloo and lived to her 90th year in 1908! So there is hope yet for my third decade Lecture at ACEVO!
My Grandfather, Harry, with Eliza his Mother, Aunt Emily, and grandparents George and Elizabeth
The grave nestling under the church yew

And church
It was good to catch up with Barbara. WaterAid are a superb charity and doing a great job in pointing out the importance of water and good sanitation, as well as practical projects (including one in Pakistan). The fact is that diarrhoea claims more lives throughout the world than HIV and Malaria put together.

It has always been a great feature of our British NGOs that they are not content with simply providing Aid and succour to the developing world, they campaign for Governments to tackle the route causes of poverty. As we approach the big UN conference on progress on the Millennium Development Goals the message that aid is good but development better has never been more relevant. When the floods in Pakistan recede the work of rebuilding will start and effective water supplies and better sanitation must be a top priority.

You can learn more about and support the work of WaterAid. Click here.

And we can see the truth of that now in what is happening in Pakistan where the floods themselves have claimed many lives but many more will now fall prey to water borne disease.

WaterAid is keen to give more publicity for the need for better sanitation as well as the need for better water supplies in many parts of the world . Let's support them.

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