Island walkers join global water walk to promote water security

Walkers get ready to set out on the World Vision Global 6K Walk for Water from the Missionary Church in Mindemoya. The walkers joined more than 20,000 people in 585 host sites in more than 18 countries to raise money for fresh water. The six kilometre distance is emblematic of the distance many women must walk every day to provide their families with water. photo by Michael Erskine

MINDEMOYA—Living on the world’s largest freshwater island, it is all too easy to take fresh water for granted, but for 663 million people worldwide, access to fresh clean water is anything but a given.

On Saturday, May 6, walkers, runners and cyclists, some even pushing strollers, set out on the 6 Kilometre World Vision Global Walk for Water from the Mindemoya Missionary Church. They joined walkers from 18 different countries around the world in showing support for access to safe, fresh water.

The six kilometre distance of the walk is symbolic of the distance many people in the world must travel in order to access a water supply, and that is not necessarily even a safe supply.

“Today we are walking for water for those people who have to walk an average of six kilometres a day to access water,” said walk organizer Brenda Clarke, “and that is not even for clean water. We are lucky, we have access to clean available water, but a lot of people, particularly in Africa, don’t. A lot of women, and it is usually women, have to walk to get their water, and often more than once a day.”

“Today is the World Vision Global Six K Walk for water,” said World Vision rep John Rotz, who happened to be in the area to join in the Mindemoya effort. “Around the globe, there are around 663 million people that still don’t have access to clean, fresh water. In 18 countries around the world, and in 585 host sites, over 20,000 people are walking six kilometres so we can raise funds to help provide access to fresh water.”

Paster Ray Kloetstra of the Mindemoya Missionary Church outlined the route to the walkers, noting that the path ran down Highway 541 to Hill Road, down the hill to Idyll Glen and along the waterfront to the water plant before rounding back again. Along the route, an emergency washroom spot was made available in a home along the route for relief of the walkers.

Following the walk, a luncheon was available for the walkers and their support team.