March for Water

March for Water Image WaterAid/Georgie Lord

Event information

Pledge to walk further than usual for four weeks, in solidarity with those who have no choice but to walk to collect water. Lace up your shoes with our blue laces, take the scenic route and share your progress as you March for Water.

When you sign up you'll donate £1 in return for our exclusive blue laces - so you can show the world you're making a difference this #MarchforWater.

Sign up to March for Water

Why March for Water?

For 1 in 9 people around the world getting a drink of water isn't as simple as turning on a tap. They have no choice but to make long, tiring, and often dangerous journeys to remote water sources - and then haul heavy cans or buckets all the way back home. It's a journey that for some is an eight kilometre round trip, and a burden that more often than not falls to women and young girls, who sacrifice their education and careers to make sure their families have water.

By sharing your shoelace selfies, talking to your friends and family about your challenge and raising money for WaterAid, you'll also help us bring the water crisis to even more people’s attention.

How far should you walk?

It's up to you how far you pledge to walk and when you do it. You could walk a little every day by getting off the bus early or doing a lap of the park on your way home. Or you could do longer, more scenic walks on the weekends. Below are some distance ideas from us:

  • 2km a day (62km a month) - the average journey length to the nearest water source
  • 4km a day (124km a month) - the average round-trip distance to the nearest water source
  • 8km a day (248km a month) - the distance of two round-trips to the nearest water source

Want an extra challenge?

Or hoping to get more sponsorship for your pledge? You could carry a jerry can filled with water on one or more of your walks, like Betsy did. She walked the average distance young girls around the world do when collecting water (about two miles), all with a bucket of water on her head. She absolutely knocked her £200 fundraising target out of the park!

Betsy fundraising for WaterAid by doing a sponsored walk for water


How old do I have to be to take part?

March for Water is open to anybody of any age. The only thing we ask you to consider is your level of fitness - whilst it's nice to challenge yourself, make sure you pledge a distance that's realistic too.

If you're below the age of 18 please ensure an adult above 18 years old signs up on your behalf and you're accompanied by an adult during your walks.

If you're part of a youth group we recommend your leader registers on behalf of everybody and coordinates distributing laces.

Can I take part if I use a wheelchair or mobility aid?

Absolutely, we'd love for you to take part too. Just pledge to get out and about as far as you think is possible and realistic for your level of fitness.

If you'd like to get involved with some longer walks, there are lots of websites that list accessible walking routes set in stunning scenery:

Why do I need to pay £1 for my shoelaces?

We're charging a nominal fee to cover postage and packaging. That way, any money raised for March for Water will go towards providing clean water and decent toilets in some of the world's poorest communities.

When will my shoelaces arrive?

Please allow up to seven working days for your laces to arrive from the date that you ordered them.

Can I march as part of a group?

Absolutely, we'd love for you to get a team of friends, family or colleagues, your school or your church involved - it's a great way to socialise. You can order up to 100 pairs of blue laces per group.

If you're a teacher getting your class involved, we've also created some fun classroom activities to introduce the challenge to your pupils and teach them about the importance of clean water.

Do I have to walk every single day?

You can reach your pledged distance in as many or as few days as you like. Do a few kilometres each day during the week, or go for some long walks on the weekends. Totally up to you. You can track your distance using our downloadable wall chart, too!

Do I need to fundraise?

Fundraising isn't a requirement, but we suggest asking your friends and family for some sponsorship. £75 is a good target, and will go a long way to helping us reach more people around the world with clean water.

How can I track my distance?

If you have a smartphone, it's really easy to track how far you're walking - most have built-in pedometers which you can switch on, or you can download a free app like Strava, Google Maps or Map my Walk.

If you have a fitness tracker or smart watch like a Fitbit or Garmin, you can keep an eye on the kilometers you notch up and add it to our wall chart tracker.

How do you know how far people have to walk for water?

In the countries where we work, the distance to the nearest source of water can vary hugely.

We gave pedometers to people in Ethiopia, Malawi and Nepal to measure the distance they covered when collecting water. The results were shocking. Most people walked between 1.2km (which takes around 15 minutes) and 8km (which takes around two hours) - a journey that many must make twice a day.

The burden of this task regularly falls to the women and children of households. Imagine what they could be doing with their lives if they didn't have to spend so long collecting something as basic as water - going to school, enjoying their childhoods, or earning a decent living for their family.

Contact us

Have a question about March for Water that isn't answered here? Our Events team will be happy to help.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 020 7793 4594