"I'll never forget Margaret, clean water has transformed her life."

3 min read
WaterAid/ Eliza Deacon

In this blog, volunteer Barry Hardy reflects on an emotional journey to Uganda – and why he’s including the gift of clean water in his will.

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Water has always played a big part in my life. Maybe it’s because I’m a Scot – we have our vast lochs, our craggy shores, and we certainly see more than our fair share of rain.

I also work for Scottish Water, and it was via my job that I became involved with WaterAid. Through their volunteer speaker network I talk to schools, churches, community groups – anyone who will listen really – about how important water and toilets are.

Barry Hardy of Scottish Water (right) uses the 'tippy-tap' hand washing system with 43-year-old Among Margaret (left) at her house in Bobol village, Uganda - November 2014
Barry uses the 'tippy-tap' to wash his hands with Margaret at her house in Bobol village, Uganda.
WaterAid/Eliza Deacon

The day I met Margaret

It was a real privilege when I was invited to visit some WaterAid projects in Uganda. In the charming village of Bobol, my host and guide for the day was Margaret. A smiling and constantly active woman, Margaret’s disability meant she used a uniquely adapted tricycle with hand pedals.

As she pedalled triumphantly about her domain, with the rest of us trailing in her wake, Margaret showed us the community water pump and public latrines; installed some three years earlier with support from WaterAid.

Later, over a meal of sweet potato and pea soup, I asked her "What difference have the water and toilets made to your life?" She threw back her head and laughed at my question.

"Life is much easier now. We are sick less often, and our crops are big. Our animals have water to drink; they thrive and give us more milk." With a twinkle in her eye she finished: "I now wish only for a motor for my tricycle!"

43-year-old Among Margaret (left front) shows off her latrine to Bernie McClean of Northern Ireland Water (left rear) and Barry Hardy of Scottish Water (right) during their visit to her house in Bobol village, Ojamai parish, Asamuk sub-county, Amuria  ...
43-year-old Margaret shows off her latrine to Barry during their visit to her house.
WaterAid/ Eliza Deacon

I won’t forget Margaret or Bobol for a long time

I know I’ll always be passionate about water and toilets; especially now I’ve seen the incredible transformation they bring to people like Margaret. And I've seen how carefully WaterAid uses donations to work with communities to bring long lasting solutions.

For me, the natural progression of my support has been to include a gift to WaterAid in my Will. I decided what to leave based on the needs of my family first. Knowing my loved ones are taken care of, it feels good to know that I can continue to help people get clean water by leaving a gift to a cause that has so touched me during my life.

“The design of our village borehole is good, it has two entrances. I enter with my wheelchair in one entrance and exit from the other without turning. I am also able to pump water while sat on the wheelchair. I usually take a ten litre jerrycan becaus ...
Margaret shows off the new waterpump. “The design is good. I can enter and exit with my wheelchair without turning. I am able to pump water while sat on the wheelchair"
WaterAid/James Kiyimba

WaterAid supporters, like you and me, understand that water is fundamental to living a healthy and full life. I’m glad that when I’m gone, I’ll be leaving the world with water.

If you'd like to find out more about how you can pass on the wonderful gift of clean water in your will and change lives like Margaret's forever, please request your free guide today. 

Order a guide to including a gift in your will