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Special Jobs Marked on a Special Day

22 March 2016 11:02

This year's United Nations World Water Day on 22 March is focused on water and jobs.

The theme this year allows us to pay tribute to the men and women around the world who work in the water industry, providing a 24 hour service to their communities.

In Northern Ireland, water is plentiful, and we are lucky we have clean drinking water on tap.  Each person on average uses around 155 litres per day, but it is often taken for granted and we expect it to be there when we turn on the tap.  When it is not, even for only a few hours, we get a glimpse of what it would be like to live without it.

Unfortunately, nearly 650 million people live without clean water every single day, often resorting to drinking dirty, unsanitary water and walking miles 5 or 6 times a day to get just one bucket of dirty water each time.  Each person in a developing country uses around 10 litres of dirty water per day, a stark contrast to what we each use in Northern Ireland! Preventable diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation are the biggest killers of children in Africa, and illness and hours spent collecting water from distant sources keep children out of school and prevent adults from earning a living.

Celine Rodgers, WaterAid NI Committee Secretary, explains:

''Most of us are guilty of taking our water supply for granted and often waste water in the home.  As we approach the summer months, we tend to become even more careless with our water, from using sprinklers, allowing children to play with water hoses, to turning a blind eye to those who open up fire hydrants allowing gallons of clean, treated drinking water to flow straight down the drain.

''It is a stark contrast to the images we see of those who are literally fighting a daily battle to stay alive, with little or no access to clean, safe drinking water.

''World Water Day is a chance for us to take time to think about how we use our water and how we treat our water workers, who often face abuse when they shut down open fire hydrants.  Teams of water workers often work through the night to repair burst mains, regardless of the weather conditions, ensuring we have running water to wake up to.

''We can use this day as a celebration of our own water workers and reflect on the millions around the world who are not as fortunate as us.  It is easy to make a difference; simply make a donation to WaterAid through or organise a fundraising event to support the charity.''

NI Water and the local WaterAid committee run information sessions for schools and community groups.  If you are interested in having a talk for your group, please contact


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