Melissa Campbell, who works for international water charity Just a Drop, is travelling to Uganda to see first-hand the impact of the charity’s work.
Melissa, who lives in Kington Magna, is the project manager for the Motcombe based charity, and will be visiting the projects in Uganda just two days after the UN’s World Water Day on 22nd March – an international day which brings attention to world-wide issues that surround water. She is travelling to Uganda to measure the impact the water projects have had on the lives of the communities supported – communities that before had no access to safe, clean drinking water.
Melissa understands only too well the challenges facing communities without clean water – she lived in the arid environment of Central Kenya in her early 20s, without access to water or a toilet in her home. She says:
“When I lived in Kenya I witnessed the issues people faced through having no access to safe, clean water. Children and women would walk for miles in search of water, and in doing so limited their access to education or employment; children would fall ill from water-related diseases; and there would be insufficient water for the community’s crops or livestock, meaning they were always living a hand to mouth existence, something that can lead to the need for disaster relief in times of drought.
I am looking forward to seeing how Just a Drop’s projects have changed the lives of communities we are visiting in Uganda – and to see in particular the positive impact clean, safe water close to where they live has had on the children in those communities.”
Just a Drop has delivered over 130 projects in 31 countries, supporting approximately 1.5 million people since its beginnings in 1998. The aim of the charity is to address the shocking statistic that a child dies every 20 seconds from a water-related disease – which means more children under five years old die from this than malaria, measles and HIV/AIDS combined.
The charity is based within the offices of the Scientific Exploration Society (SES), attached to the home of legendary explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell, Just a Drop’s Honorary President. It is fortunate to benefit from the expertise of Volunteer Project Engineers, who, alongside the Projects team, oversee the work with local communities and local partners in the field.
“We have a lot to thank John and the SES for – not only was it through my own experience working with SES that I heard about the role at Just a Drop but also John has helped us to secure a large number of our Volunteer Project Engineers and he himself works with us on projects in South America. Occasionally our position within the SES also brings additional perks – such as our being able to secure TV presenter Alexander Armstrong as a Just a Drop Patron when he was recently in the office interviewing John!”
The charity, which also has a small office in Richmond, is this World Water Day asking people to consider supporting their appeal to bring clean, safe water to communities who so desperately need it around the world.