Tap into WaterAid: Water here means water there

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Related tags: Water, Drinking water

"There's a direct link with the glass of water you serve and the people you're helping," according to licensee Stuart Wraith whose pub - the Fools...

"There's a direct link with the glass of water you serve and the people you're helping," according to licensee Stuart Wraith whose pub - the Fools Nook, just south of Macclesfield, Cheshire - has been collecting for the charity WaterAid for the past four months.

"You're helping other people in the world to have the same access to a clean supply of water as we do."

Stuart is one of hundreds of licensees and businesses which have jumped on board The Publican-backed Tap into WaterAid​ campaign.

The charity provides clean drinking water and toilet facilities for communities across 26 countries in the developing world. Participating pubs simply ask customers to donate at least 15p per glass of tap water, which is then given to the charity.

Across the world today one in eight people doesn't have access to safe drinking water, but for just £15 WaterAid is able to provide a lasting supply of safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.

Since The Publican launched its campaign in April - to coincide with legislation forcing pubs to provide free tap water - publicans have raised around £13k and momentum is gathering.

Stuart continued: "I saw an article on ThePublican.com and I thought 'that's such a good idea' especially with the law changing. I hope the rest of the pubs in the country get on board."

As the Fools Nook is a drive-to location quite a few people order a pint with their meals then move on to soft drinks or water, which has helped the campaign. With each glass of water served, staff hand out a WaterAid card explaining what the charity does and customers can then make a donation in a tin on the bar when they pay.

"We've found the odd fiver in there, and staff also often put their tips in at the end of the night - they've really taken to it too," Stuart added.

At the Good Ship in Kilburn, North London, licensee John McCooke is backing the campaign and encouraging other outlets in the area to do the same. So far he has got another three pubs involved. He said: "It's obviously a scandal that there are people around the world that don't have access to clean water."

Customers at the Tynant - a Brains food-led pub in Cardiff - are also positive about the campaign. Licensee Mandy Hammerton said: "You're not going to increase sales with tap water but it's a nice touch and is good for the pub." Companies such as Brains and Charles Wells are fully behind the campaign, while trade groups including the BII are also encouraging licensees to get involved.

WaterAid's Cara Keane said: "We need as many pubs supporting Tap into WaterAid as possible in order to achieve our ambitious target of raising £50,000 by next April. We are very hopeful that their experience will inspire more pub groups and chains across the country to get involved."

• To find out how you can get involved call 020 7793 4949 or visit: Tap into WaterAid

Providing water... and beer!

In 2008 WaterAid started working with Dutch NGO Simavi to bring clean water to a small rural community in Michese, Tanzania.

Before the work started, villager and mother-of-three Mwajuma said the community had to rely on deep holes dug in the dry riverbed, which yielded only a few litres a day. In the rainy season villagers collected water running off the roofs, which would sometimes result in children getting diarrhoea.

Now the water pipes have been installed the children are healthier and the villagers, including Mwajuma, don't have to spend all their time collecting water.

Mwajuma has been able to turn more of her attention to making millet brew, which she sells. It's made with millet flour, sugar, yeast, and special flowers that turn the beer red.

"Having the water has helped my business because I can save time. The service has increased my income because now I have time to make beer," said Mwajuma.

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