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Michael and Emily Eavis' visit to Mozambique

In November 2006, Festival organisers Michael and Emily Eavis visited Mozambique to see for themselves how Glastonbury money donated to WaterAid is changing people's lives. While he was there, Michael wrote an exclusive blog for NME.com, which we re-publish below.

Day one

 Hello! Michael here. Myself and my daughter Emily are in Mozambique. We're in a place called Lichinga, it's pretty big, about 10,000 people, roughly the same size as Glastonbury. The town not the festival! The reason we're here is we're donating about £130,000-£140,000 a year from the festival to WaterAid. Profits are going to increase by about 50% in the future I think, so we're going to be doing more and more of this kind of work. We were very keen to come and see how the money's been spent, that it's not being wasted or anything.

All the money WaterAid spend here goes on the water pumps and proper latrines for lavatory business to be done properly as well. These wells only cost a total of about £1000 each so WaterAid does the funding operation almost entirely themselves, from the money they raise in Britain. And a lot of that comes from the festival. So we're making sure that they're happy.

 It's a bit technical, but I'm an expert now! They make their own pumps from car tyres and bicycle wheels and it's a long ramp that comes up through a plastic tube. It goes down about 12 metres into the ground and pulls the water up through the tube. It's incredible. We spent all day looking at that. I've been shopping too – I bought a CD by the South African reggae artist Lucky Dube. And when we were back at the hotel, they had Phil Collins on, so I changed the CD! I ended up dancing with this lady to Lucky Dube, it was great! Do you think I'm being too hard on Phil Collins? Probably not! 

We're going to a concert with lots of local bands tonight, and I'm really looking forward to that. It should be great. We'll be in Lichinga again tomorrow checking out the wells – I'll let you know about that and about the gig tomorrow! 

Day two

Well, I'll start my second post by saying we didn't get to see any bands last night – we got the day wrong! There's bands playing in the town tonight, and I'm really looking forward to it, as is Emily. Tomorrow we are going to see the best band in Mozambique, Massukos, who are playing especially for us. We're going to invite them over to play at the festival next year. 

Today we went to a place about 75 miles away from where we are staying called Sanga. We drove for hours up a dirt track to get to it. There was nothing from the 20th century there at all, it was completely remote. No alcohol, media, cars, telly, electricity. If you went back in time 600 years it would have been exactly the same. It's weird, it's like the old hippy dream, the alternative society – no carbon, no pollution. I've never seen anything so pure and simple. All they need is fresh water, a school and a medical centre. But all they are asking for at the moment is water. 

WaterAid are going to start on a project next week. There's about 500 people, half of them small children, so that's another £2000 – really, really good value for money. These people are taking so little from the planet. They deserve it, they are not polluting. It's the kind of thing the seventies hippies would dream about. I dunno if they could stick it, mind – 35 years ago that was their paradise! But it's pretty intense, going into villages that are completely and utterly isolated. 

So now we're off to watch some music. Then we'll head to a place near the border with Tanzania tomorrow. I'll let you know how we get on of course. 

Day three, four and five

Well, what a weekend! We saw the band Massukos I was talking about, they were fantastic – a bit like the Bhundu Boys, we figured we'd have them on at the festival next year, that's a sure thing. They're really pleased to come of course, but we're gonna sort out a few more gigs for them to make it worthwhile, because it will cost a fortune to get them over. 

On Saturday we went to another village called Issa, getting their water pumps going. They don't need high technology – it's so simple and so cheap, really. We stayed in a hotel called Duracell, funnily enough because I needed to get an extra 20 per cent! And my hotel room number was 007! This chap came in off the street and proposed to one of our ladies Suzanne (Porter) who's taking the pictures out here. So I nearly lost her, I was going to be best man at the wedding and all sorts! The guy saw how beautiful and attractive she was, so he asked her through the window of the hotel if she was married. Turns out he was – he was showing us pictures of his wife and kids but turns out he was entitled to four wives! He was a doctor from Nigeria on loan to Mozambique. I had to march him out of the hotel in the end, but he came back! He was quite serious about his intentions! 

So we have a bit more to do tomorrow, then we have to fly off tomorrow afternoon. We're meeting up with all the officials. They've got 75 wells in Mozambique now that they wouldn't have had otherwise. It's great value – they were about £2000 each. The money goes much further out here – 75 holes, that's £150,000. In the UK it would cost a lot, lot more. It's one of the poorest regions I've seen in my life, and water's the main thing they need. It's great to know the festival makes a hell of a difference to these people. But it's only a beginning. There's a lot more needed. We're going to need another 75 next year. The officials don't seem to have the money to do it, the economy's in pretty bad shape I think. The money really does make one hell of a difference. Anyway, bye for now! 

Michael.