Trocaire targets €8m to deliver life-saving water
EVERY cent counts as Trocaire aims to raise €8m from its annual fundraising campaign to help the millions of people struggling to get clean water in poor communities.
Eamonn Meehan, Trocaire's executive director, said this year's Lenten campaign is targeting the global water crisis, as drier climates in large swathes of sub-Saharan Africa are leaving communities struggling.
The money collected in the Trocaire boxes given to schools and homes will be used to help provide access to water for many struggling villages and aid all the countries where the aid agency works.
The face of Enestina Muyeye (9), from the remote rural community of Dedza, central Malawi, is on this year's box. More than 1,000 people in the village suffered repeated doses of dysentery as they accessed water from a dirty stream that was a 1km trek away.
However, working with the aid of partner agency Caritas, a first pump to access drinking water has been installed, with plans to introduce an irrigation system.
Fr Brendan O'Shea, from Glencar, Co Kerry, who is the parish priest of Mua, Dedza Diocese, said it was hard to give people a vision for the future and many of the wells go dry in the hot season.
"Farmers never know what they can produce. They rely on the rain for everything."
Mr Meehan said access to water can transform lives.
"We are also thinking about the issue of climate change," he said, as research has shown temperatures are rising and rain is becoming less frequent in parts of Africa.
Trocaire's fundraising campaign before Christmas was down 19pc to €1.225m – yet an emergency campaign in November collected more than €5m. "I've no doubt they gave money instead to the emergency appeal," he said.
This year's Lenten box campaign runs from March 5 until Easter Sunday, April 20, with more information available on www.trocaire.org/lent