WaterAid volunteer, Richard, is off to see first hand how money raised here is used in Malawi

Fundraiser Richard Boucher from Badwell Ash is preparing for a once in a lifetime trip to Malawi where he will witness first hand how WaterAid is transforming lives in one of the world’s poorest countries. 

Richard, who works for Anglian Water will see the vital safe water, hygiene education and sanitation projects the international charity has carried out since it began working in the country in 1999 and those it plans to start in the near future.

Richard has been chosen to represent the company on the week-long trip along with fundraisers from several other companies which support WaterAid. The group will fly out on Monday to reach the capital city, Lilongwe.

Over the course of the week long trip he will spend time with local communities, experiencing first-hand what living without clean water and sanitation is like, trying to understand how they survive, and asking them about their daily water and sanitation challenges. He will also see how WaterAid projects and the money raised in this country is making a life-changing difference to people.

Other visits will include a health centre, a rural school in Kasungu and a water supply project which is providing water to the Nkhotakota region.

Richard said: “This trip is a great opportunity for me to see for myself the work that WaterAid is doing to change lives in countries like Malawi.

“But I’m apprehensive. Travelling to areas where sanitation is poor and they don’t have safe access to safe drinking water will be a world away from what I’m used to.

“Malawi is a very poor and rural country, where tragically waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid are common and responsible for thousands of deaths each year.

“Over 80 per cent of the population – some 14 million people – don’t have access to sanitation and although coverage of water supply appears high many of these sources are broken or inadequate.

“These things which are vital to a healthy life are ones that we often take for granted here in the UK. We turn the tap and clean water is readily available, or we flush the loo and don’t think twice about it, but hundreds of millions of people the world over have no choice but to drink dirty water that may make them sick or even fatally ill.

“It will be a real eye-opening experience and I hope to use what I see and learn to inspire even more people to help this fantastic charity in any way they can.”

Find out more at www.wateraid.org. Richard will also be keeping a blog of his trip which can be found at blogs.anglianwater.co.uk/wateraid