G Adventures Earth Month initiative delivering results for drought-stricken village

29 Apr 2010
Planeterra Foundation's Kenya water project helps provide clean drinking water to hundreds

Each year, G Adventures (www.gadventures.com) commits resources and embarks on fund-raising initiatives to change peoples' lives during Earth Month, the annual celebration of green achievements—and a reminder of the work still needed to protect ecosystems around the globe.

The tour operator is using its 2010 awareness and fund-raising efforts to highlight the importance of fresh water resources—and, specifically, to raise $3,500 through its ongoing dollar-a-day project to buy additional water tanks for the non-profit Planeterra Foundation's Kenya Community Tourism Project (http://www.planeterra.org/pages/projects/19.php?id=2). Since 2007, the initiative has supplied six water-collection barrels to a village in Kenya, providing locals with clean drinking water.

To coincide with that fundraising initiative, G Adventures is also offering a 10 per cent discount on all of its voluntours throughout April.
Why the focus on clean water? According to a recent report released by the U.N. Environment Program, approximately 810 million people still do not have access to safe drinking water. Thirty-seven per cent of these people are located in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As with their other projects around the globe, G Adventures and the Planeterra Foundation are already seeing the benefits of the Kenya Community Tourism Project. The program not only provides travellers on the Cultural Kenya and Safari Tour with a cross-cultural opportunity to spend time with the villagers in Kuwour Village—located in Kenya's Nyanza province—but establishes an alternate source of tourism-based income for villagers and provides support initiatives which supply those much-needed 2,500-litre tanks. Those life-saving barrels allow locals to divert the time and energy once spent hauling water for survival to invest in education, improve agricultural production and engage in other economic activities.

Travellers such as Jennifer Kefer have seen those benefits first-hand on trips to Kuwour Village. Kefer, a professional climate change advocate, recently embarked on G Adventures' Cultural Kenya and Safari Tour where she worked with the community to help erect rain collection barrels to replace the inefficient pots and buckets still used by some households to harvest rain water for drinking. "We worked side-by-side with the villagers, carrying equipment, installing the gutters, positioning the barrels, and transforming their homes," she recalls. "These barrels will not restore the regularity of the seasons to Kenya, but they will help ensure that the people of Kuwuor have water when the rains don't come."

Others, such as G Adventures Chief Experience Officer Daniel Ongallo, have a deeper connection to those water-related successes. As a resident of Kuwour Village, Ongallo and his relatives rely on the project to supply water both for drinking and farming.

"With the program in place, rain showers of no longer than 30 minutes supply almost 3,000 litres of water—enough for more than two weeks," he says. "We now enjoy an improved quality of life, without the illnesses brought on by water borne diseases—which are often lethal and costly to treat."

For more information, visit http://www.gadventures.com or http://www.planeterra.org

G Adventures is a world leader in the adventure travel industry offering small group adventures on all seven continents and beyond to more than 100,000 global travellers annually. The award-winning trips, which focus on culture, nature and active travel, are ideal for those with a sense of adventure - people who want to leave the beaten path and authentically immerse themselves in a local culture or environment to experience the real world in a sustainable manner. Demonstrating its ongoing cultural, social and economic commitment to responsible tourism, G Adventures established the Planeterra Foundation, as a way the company and its passengers can give back to the communities visited. For more information, please visit http://www.gadventures.com and http://www.planeterra.org