Each year, G Adventures (www.gadventures.com) commits its Earth Month activities to building happiness and community the world over through awareness-building and fundraising efforts. This year is no different, but because water access and shortage problems are reaching crisis levels—particularly in developing nations—the tour operator is focusing its Earth Month initiatives on changing the lives of people who lack access to clean drinking water.
The drive is part of G Adventures’ ongoing commitment to using Earth Month to improve the lives of people around the world through specific support strategies. It’s the reason why G Adventures will offer a 10 per cent discount on all of its voluntours from Apr. 1 to Apr. 30, and will work to raise $3,500 through its ongoing dollar-a-day project to buy water tanks for the non-profit Planeterra Foundation’s Kenya Community Tourism Project (http://www.planeterra.org/pages/projects/19.php?id=2). The ultimate goal: shining a spotlight on the need for similar projects in other dry regions in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The Kenya Community Tourism Project provides travellers with a cross-cultural opportunity to take part in the lives of locals in Kenya’s Kowour Village, establishes an alternate source of tourism-based income for villagers, and provides support initiatives which supply much-needed 3,000-litre tanks to the village. The project has helped locals divert the time and energy they once spent hauling water for survival to invest in education, further agricultural production and other economic activities.
“Doing the right thing to support communities around the globe and finding sustainable ways to help the planet has always been one of our core values,” said G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip. “This year’s Earth Month initiatives focused on water access and supply issues are critical to raising awareness of an immense problem that will only get worse, especially in places like Africa where local communities lack the financial means to solve these problems on their own.”
On average, Africans walk 6 km each day to gain access to safe drinking water, while the weight of water that women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads is commonly 20 kg, the same as the average airport luggage allowance. According to the World Health Organization, 884 million people do not have access to safe drinking water, roughly one eighth of the world's population. Scientists estimate that by 2025, 40 per cent of the world’s population will suffer from a serious lack of fresh water.