We are lucky here in the UK – we have clean, running water available to us 24/7. It is something we may take for granted, as one in ten of the world’s population does not have access to it.
Over half of the people of Madagascar live without access to safe water and over 21 million don’t have access to a decent toilet. More than 2,100 children die each year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. These deaths can be prevented with access to clean water, it’s that simple.
Thames Water’s Resourcing Team Leader, Jade Wilkinson, is taking action. In November, she is trekking across Madagascar to raise money for WaterAid, a charity who work to end this global crisis. They’re active in 38 countries across the world, transforming millions of lives by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
Jade’s five-day trek will see her exploring the world’s fourth largest island, climbing through sheer cliffs and granite peaks in Andringitra National Park. Starting at Namoly, the northern gateway to the Park, the trek carries on through the forests of Imaitso until the focus of the challenge is reached – the second-highest peak on the island, ‘Pic Boby’, or Imarivolanitra in Malagasy, meaning ‘close to the sky’. The summit is 2658m (8720ft) high, and Jade will be climbing all the way to the top!
After the summit is reached, the hardest part is over and the descent begins. The path leads through the beautiful Tsaranoro Valley, with a night stop and a chance to see some lemurs. The treacherous trek comes to an end, with the final day including a project visit with WaterAid.
Jade said: “I feel extremely privileged to be able to help transform and improve the lives of adults, children and babies in communities across Madagascar. I've never attempted anything like this before so there will be some tough times ahead to get my fitness levels up, but I’m really looking forward to it.”
Jade needs to raise £4,500 to take part in the trek, so she needs all the help she can get. She is taking part in various sponsored activities throughout the year to raise funds, including a sponsored Social Media ban.
If you can help Jade reach her goal, head to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/JadeWilkinsonTrekMadagascar to donate. Even the smallest donations will help!