Ahead of AidEx in Brussels next week, Gold Sponsor Qatar Charity have developed a unique initiative to raise awareness around the global water crisis and raise money for water projects.
The human right to safe drinking water was first recognised by the United Nations in 2010. Yet 844 million people today - 1 in 9 people, lack such access, whilst 2.4 billion – 1 in 3 – do not have access to a toilet. Insufficient access prevents basic needs such as health, education and nutrition being met.
Health: Each year, 2.6 million people from water-related diseases, making unhealthy water one of the leading causes of death in the world, ahead of deaths caused by war and conflicts
Economy: Every day, women, girls, men and boys spend 200,000,000 hours walking to get water for their families. This time spent gathering water or seeking safe sanitation accounts for billions in lost economic opportunities. $260 billion is lost globally each year due to lack of basic water and sanitation
Education: Education is critical for breaking the cycle of poverty. However, students use valuable class time to fetch water long distances from the school. Water and education are also linked in school absence. About 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related illness
To further highlight this issue using interactive screens, panel discussions, live physical challenges and fundraising activities, visitors to AidEx can engage with Qatar Charity’s various initiatives in the following ways:
Qatar Charity is conducting a panel at AidEx on 14 November, entitled, WASH and Women: the challenge of gender-inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene services, aimed at exploring how a gender-inclusive approach can be achieved in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Speakers include the Director of UNICEF, Sandie Blanchet and the CEO of Qatar Charity, Yousuf Alkuwari. For more information, see here.
Exhibition stand activities
Qatar Charity exhibition booth will display panels featuring interactive screens where visitors will learn more about the global water crisis through quizzes, testimonials, videos and pictures.
The organisation has engineered a real water pump from the field to have the same resistance as most water wells that are still used in Africa and Asia. Visitors can also challenge fellow visitors using challenging cards:
A points system will be displayed on a live screen and at the end of the exhibition, all points will be converted into donations that will go to a specific water project under the name "Aidex". For both of the following challenges, completed projects will be reported and distributed to the AidEx visitors who have participated in the challenge.
The Hand Pump Challenge:
The first challenge will feature a manual pump which millions of women, girls and boys still use today to pump water in most wells across Africa and Asia. These pumps require significant physical exertion. Visitors will be challenged to simulate pumping water and will be able to raise points according to the “quantity” of water they would have pumped in a limited time-period. These points will then be converted to donations made by Qatar Charity towards specific water projects.
The Hauling challenge:
The WHO recommends 20-50 litres of water per person per day for drinking, cooking, and washing. That amounts to hauling between 44 and 110 pounds of water daily for use by each household member. Visitors will be challenged to carry a determined volume of water in two containers over a pre-made track in the exhibition hall. Points will be raised according to the time spent walking this distance. These points will then be converted to donations made by Qatar Charity towards specific water projects.
To take part in the water challenge on 13 and 14 November next week, register to attend AidEx in Brussels free here.