The United Nations World Water Day on Wednesday 22nd March is an opportunity to highlight the huge importance of fresh water. Shockingly, 771 million people* worldwide lack access to safe water, causing poor sanitation and health risks. This year, our charity partner Just a Drop have created a record-breaking campaign called the #WalktotheWell which follows in the footsteps of Ann, a 32 year old woman from Kenya who is forced to walk 9km every day to collect water for her family. In this blog we’re sharing Ann’s Walk to the Well and back – and challenging Y.O.U customers to scroll the distance of one woman’s 9km walk to water and generating the longest Twitter thread ever made!
What’s it really like to endure a long walk to fetch clean water?
A walk that can take hours and hours, multiple times a day, just for a drink or a wash. “You feel the sun’s heat rising and the air is dry”. This is the stark reality for Ann, from Kitui County in Kenya. Every day she walks in the blistering heat, with a 20 kilo jerrycan strapped to her head. The brilliant charity Just a Drop who support communities worldwide with access to sustainable water solutions, have brought Ann’s journey to life with their Walk to the Well Twitter campaign.
(Photo: Ann, from Kitui County in Kenya, Just a Drop.)
Across over 2,000 tweets, the #WalktotheWell Twitter thread takes people on Ann’s powerful journey. The walk exposes Ann to dangerous attacks and treacherous weather conditions, and shows how her life is consumed by walking for water. When Ann gets to the well, she sometimes has to queue for over an hour in the heat, and sometimes the well has dried up entirely. When this is the case, Ann has to fetch water from a nearby scoop hole which is filled with dirty water and can collapse at any moment, burying the people inside it.
(Photos: Ann, from Kitui County in Kenya, Just a Drop.)
Why the water crisis impacts women and children more
Women and children spend a collective 200 million hours a day collecting water.* This can be prevented by giving communities access to water and giving women time to focus on getting an education and learning new skills to earn a living. Donations to Just a Drop help provide clean water solutions, like sand dams, built closer to communities to help make Ann’s daily journey for water, considerably shorter.
The Y.O.U Underwear and Just A Drop partnership
Y.O.U Underwear has a great partnership with Just a Drop to bring Menstrual Hygiene Education to schools in Wakiso District in Uganda. With every eco-friendly menstrual cup you buy from YOU Underwear, £1 will be donated to the Menstrual Hygiene programme. It will support over 100 girls from across three schools in the Wakiso District of Uganda by teaching children at the school to produce, market and manage the production of reusable sustainable menstrual pads and soap.
How far can you get on Ann's #WalktotheWell?
This World Water Day, 22nd March 2023, we are asking our amazing Positive Pants community to help Y.O.U Underwear raise awareness of the importance of clean water. If you’re active on Twitter, try scrolling through as much of Ann’s 9km journey as you can, before liking and donating when you stop. See how far you can get! Start the challenge now.
*All figures sourced from https://www.justadrop.org/