Workshop weighs up aid workers’ water choices

Year 8 boys got an insight into just what a lack of access to clean water can mean from two visiting speakers from international charity WaterAid.

Miriam Poulton has worked on community-based projects in several African countries, while May Sule is an expert in sustainable water management in Nigeria. They explained to 90 Year 8 boys how organisations like WaterAid are working with local communities in Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs) to improve access to clean water and sanitation.

""“The boys were deeply interested and absorbed a great deal of factual information about the challenges involved with providing clean water in LEDCs,” said Sarah Jones, the Geography teacher who organised the event. “The top three facts that the boys said they had learnt were: that pneumonia is the biggest killer of children; one-third of people in the world do not have access to a toilet, and the thinner you are the higher is your body’s water content.”

""After the presentation the boys took part in a workshop. They were given an imaginary budget of £5,000 to spend on a village of 300 people in Ghana who do not have access to clean water or sanitation.

The exercise required them to decide whether to spend the money immediately on installing pumps, wells and latrines, or whether to hold a consultation with the villagers – at a cost of £1,000 – to ask them what they thought would be best for the village.