Fundraiser Matt Kirk from Peterborough is preparing to embark on a once in a lifetime trip to the Madya Pradesh region of India where he will experience first hand the vital safe water, hygiene education and sanitation projects of international charity WaterAid.

Matt, who works for Anglian Water managing the supply of drinking water for over 100,000 thousand homes in Northampton, Wellingborough and Milton Keynes, will see how WaterAid is transforming lives in one of India’s poorest regions.  

He has been chosen to represent the company on the week-long trip along with fundraisers from eleven other water companies. The group fly out on Saturday (16th February) arriving in the capital Dehli, before travelling south to the central Madhya Pradesh region.  

Once there he will visit communities to find out what life is like without safe water and sanitation and see WaterAid projects in both urban areas and rural villages to witness how the money raised is making a difference.  

India has a population of over one billion. Diseases are common throughout the country due to contaminated drinking water sources and poor sanitation. WaterAid estimates that only 31% of the population has adequate sanitation. Every year 320,000, children under five die from diarrhoea.  

As part of the trip, Matt 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.  

Other visits will include meeting children in local schools, helping to carry water and completing construction work and learning how sanitation and access to clean water has helped transform lives in these areas.  

Matt said: “I’m very excited to see how the money we raise is benefiting people’s lives in one of the poorest parts of the world. But I’m also nervous, travelling to areas where sanitation is poor and they don’t have access to safe drinking water will be a world away from what we’re used to in this country.  

“In my job, I’m lucky that I see all the work which goes into ensuring people in this country have as much world class drinking water as they need and excellent sanitation too.  

“For many people though what we have is taken for granted, 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.  

“This trip is a chance for me to see for myself the work that WaterAid is doing to change this and I hope to use my experiences to inspire even more people at Anglian Water to get involved and raise funds.”  

Trip leader, Isabelle Herszenhorn, from WaterAid, said: “The money raised by fundraisers like Matt helps WaterAid change the lives of some of the world’s poorest people, bringing safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.  

“This is a great opportunity for him to see first-hand how hard work and generosity here has made a real difference to communities in India.”