WATER worker Peter Harris from Stevenage has just returned from Zambia.

He went there to see how money raised for WaterAid benefits local people in that part of Africa.

What he saw both heartened and saddened him.

He said: “During my time in Zambia I saw the power of supplying clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene education.

“However, I have seen that there is still so much to do, particularly in a slum area in Lusaka with a population of approx 80,000 where I met with people who have to drink water from a stream that is highly polluted with human and animal waste.

“Until you see it for yourself I don’t think you can truly grasp how precious water is. It’s something I think we all take for granted – sadly millions of people have no choice but to drink dirty water which will either make them or their children sick.”

Mr Harris, who works for Veolia Water, was chosen for the WaterAid supporters’ trip to Zambia along with 11 other representatives from water companies in the UK.

At present 4,000 children world wide die each day as a result of water borne diseases as they have no choice over what they drink. WaterAid is working with its partners to provide household latrines, improve clean water supplies and advance education in the slum area around safe water, hygiene and sanitation.

Nikki Skipper, WaterAid’s team leader, said: “This visit to Zambia enabled us to show how the generosity of Veolia Water fundraisers has helped transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest people, bringing safe water, sanitation and improved hygiene to their communities. “

World Water Day is today (Thursday). As part of it, when water company customers request a free cistern displacement device to reduce the amount of drinkable water flushed down their toilet, a donation will be made to WaterAid to support its ongoing efforts to transform lives.

Log on to www.waterwise.org.uk to request a device before April 4.