Churches invited to help bring water and food to Zambian communities through WaterAid’s Harvest appeal

Posted by
Anna France Williams
18 September 2019
Faith groups, Zambia, Fundraising resources, Fundraising, Water, Fundraising
WaterAid/PATH/Chileshe Chanda

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International charity WaterAid is inviting congregations across the country to support its Harvest Appeal by hosting a harvest supper or taking a collection and helping to raise £150,000 for rural communities in Zambia who have no reliable source of clean water.

The money raised will give communities clean water to drink and to use for growing vegetables so that more of the world’s poorest families have a harvest worth celebrating.

One in three people in Zambia are denied access to clean water close to home and more than half of the population don’t have access to a decent toilet. Dirty water and toilets kill almost 2,000 children under five each year and the unreliable supply of food poses another threat to health and wellbeing.

The Harvest Appeal will help people like 52-year-old Ruth from the village of Mabula. Ruth is a keen gardener and dreams of being able to grow vegetables all year round to feed her family. However, without a reliable water supply close to home this dream will never become a reality.

Each day, Ruth must dig a hole in the bed of a stream and wait patiently for the small amount of water to collect. She then scoops it up and takes it home, knowing it could give her children diarrhoea. Yet it is all she has - for cooking, washing, cleaning and giving to the animals.

Ruth says:

“The water problem in our community is growing from bad to worse, because it is no longer raining as much as it used to. Our streams are running out of water very fast. This year our crops have failed due to lack of rain. Our harvest will not be good. More people in our community will face hunger.”

Last Harvest, churches in the UK raised more than £140,000 for WaterAid, helping bring clean water to remote communities around the world, like in the village of Milimo in Zambia. When WaterAid installed a new borehole there, it completely transformed the village. A new community garden was built growing enough vegetables to eat and sell. The extra money earnt by residents is now used to look after the water point to ensure the investment is sustainable.

Felicity de Ste Croix, Communities and Volunteering Manager at WaterAid, said:

“We’re so grateful for the support of church congregations across the UK who are helping us transform lives with clean water. This basic resource can have a powerful ripple effect, enabling people to take their first step out of poverty.”

WaterAid has developed a range of resources to support churches inspiring their congregations, including a poster, church leader resource, Harvest supper guide and a WaterAid quiz. 

To find out more and order a free resource pack, visit:


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For further information, please contact:

Anna France-Williams, Senior Media Officer, [email protected] or +44 (0) 207 793 5048 or Laura Crowley, PR manager, [email protected] or +44 (0)207 793 4965.
Alternatively call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552 or email [email protected]


WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 26.4 million people with clean water and 26.3 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit, follow @WaterAid or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or find WaterAid UK on Facebook at

  • 785 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.[1]
  • 2 billion people in the world – almost one in four – do not have a decent toilet of their own.[2]
  • Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.[3]
  • Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.[4]
  • Just £15 can provide one person with clean water.[5]
  • To find out if countries are keeping their promises on water and sanitation, see the online database 

[1] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines

[2] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines


[4] World Health organization (2012) Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage