The Water Dispenser and Hydration Association (WHA) (previously the British Water Cooler Association) represents the interests of the water cooler industry in the UK and is now in its eighth year of partnership with Just a Drop. We really enjoy speaking at the WHA Conference each year to update everyone on the impact their donations have achieved from the previous year. 

Across our eight years of partnership, the Association and its members have raised over £60,000 for Just a Drop and reached over 2,000 people with sustainable safe water and sanitation. 

Thanks to their support, so far, Just a Drop has completed nine projects in Zambia in the villages of Kalungwishi (2016), Shibangwa (2017), Chibukisho and Kutemwa (2018), Mukosa (2019), Machilika (2022) and Zandonda, Munkhuli and Muchokocha (2023). Enabling thousands of people from these communities to have access to clean and safe water through the provision of boreholes and pumps.

In the WHA's most recent projects in Zandonda, Munkhuli and Muchokocha, before work began, women and children were forced to walk over 6km each day to the nearest river to fetch safe water. The trek was long but also extremely dangerous - the river is shared with a herd of elephants who would often become scared of the villagers and lash out. It was common for community members to be trampled, suffer severe injuries and lose their lives because of the human-wildlife conflict. 

Thanks to the boreholes that have been installed, this is no longer the case! Community members can now access safe water all year round. With the WHA's funding, we built boreholes using a sustainable rotary mud drill and then constructed a concrete bowl to collect any spillage from the pump. 

The long term impact of safe, clean water in Zambia

Rachel is just 10 years old and lives in the community of Chibukisho. She attends her local school but as she is the first born in the family, the burden lies on her to collect water early each morning from a source that is around 2km from her home. Often when she arrives at the source, she must wait in a queue to collect water which can sometimes take many hours.

Because of this, Rachel quite often misses school altogether. When she is able to attend school, she is late and misses her lessons. Even the lessons that she takes part in, she is too tired to concentrate and can sleep through. The walk for water each day was having a huge impact on her education.

However, now things are very different for Rachel.

Thanks to WHA, Rachel can collect safe, clean water from a borehole in her community, meaning that she does not have to travel far or get up early to support her family. She says, “I’m very happy that the community has a borehole, I am now punctual to school and never miss my classes.”