March for Water
Can we reach our pledged distance?
Team March for Water have 31 days to reach the distance we've pledged to walk. Whether you do a little every day or long walks on the weekends, let's all march in solidarity with those that have no choice but to walk for water!
Did you know that millions of people walk between 1.2km & 8km to collect water from unsafe sources? And many make the journey twice a day? This month I #marchforwater in support of @WaterAidAmerica and their efforts to bring clean water to all @TribeTobias pic.twitter.com/cibD8dvNgo— Kimmy (@kimmybrown74) March 1, 2019
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 a 4.9 miles 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 make a lot of noise on World Water Day (22 March), to 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:
- 1.2 miles a day (37.2 mi. a month) - the average journey length to the nearest water source
- 2.4 miles a day (74.4 mi. a month) - the average round-trip distance to the nearest water source
- 4.9 miles a day (152 mi. a month) - the distance of two round-trips to the nearest water source
March for Water is open to anybody of any age. The only thing we ask you to consider is your level of fitness - while it's nice to challenge yourself, make sure you pledge a distance that's realistic too.
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:
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 socialize. You can order up to 50 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.
You can reach your pledged distance in as many or as few days as you like. Do a few miles 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!
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.
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 miles you rack up and add it to our wall chart tracker.
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 0.75 miles (which takes around 15 minutes) and 4.9 miles (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.