Clean water campaign backed by celebs

Everyone deserves clean water – but especially those living on climate change frontlines. That’s why WaterAid is inviting the public to join celebrities, climate activists, and politicians in urging the UK government to help vulnerable communities get a reliable source of water.

Actors Thandiwe Newton, Dougray Scott, and Amanda Mealing, TV chefs Nadiya Hussain and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, author Lemn Sissay, Malian band Songhoy Blues, film director Shekhar Kapur, actor and director Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, sports stars Heather Watson and Ellie Simmonds, and climate activist Cel Spellman, are among those who have signed WaterAid’s open letter, which highlights the experiences of the world’s poorest people whose access to water is threatened by extreme weather.

They are joined in supporting the charity’s campaign, Our Climate Fight, by politicians Caroline Lucas MP, Chris Law MP, Layla Moran MP, and Baroness Chalker of Wallasey, who served as Minister of State for Overseas Development and Africa at the Foreign Office.

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The open letter, written by WaterAid’s Basile Ouedraogo from Burkina Faso, features details of François Nikiema, 31, a father of three from Yargho in the West African country. Rising temperatures have contributed to the boreholes and wells in François’ village drying up. François says, “you have to juggle with the little water you have or simply give up certain needs due to lack of water”. His experience is a stark reminder that those who have done the least to cause the climate crisis, are the ones whose lives are most affected.  

The public is invited to add their name to the fight for climate justice in the lead up to COP26, the UN’s global climate conference in Glasgow this November. 

WaterAid’s letter will be presented to Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab calling for a third of the UK’s committed international climate funding to be invested in locally-led adaptation projects. This will help people living on the frontlines of climate change adapt to extreme weather through disaster-resilient services that can, for example, withstand floods and drought.

One in ten people don’t have clean water close to home, leaving people more susceptible to deadly diseases and having a damaging impact on education and livelihoods. Climate change is making it even harder for vulnerable communities to get clean water. Longer droughts dry up springs and wells, and more frequent flooding pollutes fragile water supplies with devastating consequences.

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Tim Wainwright, chief executive of WaterAid, said: “For millions of vulnerable people across the world, the devastating impacts of climate change aren’t a probability; they’re already here. It is a crisis they didn’t cause, and it’s making it harder for them to get vital resources like clean water, trapping whole communities in poverty. 

“Despite the pledges from rich nations to provide financial support, people in the world’s poorest countries receive as little as $1 per person per year for water services to help them cope with the effects of climate change, underlying why aid is so crucial.”

Tim said as the UK prepares to host COP26, WaterAid is calling on the government to “seize this unique opportunity to lead the way in investing climate finance where it’s needed most”.

“With a reliable supply of clean water, people can recover quicker from disasters and can stay healthy and thrive, whatever the future may bring,” he said. 

Join the Climate Fight campaign at:

Image credit: Riccardo Mayer / Shutterstock