Initially, we lived on a farm miles away from civilisation. I remember how hard the men worked to irrigate the parched, dusty ground, coaxing it into life; how the irrigation channels criss-crossed the landscape like veins, delivering vital hydration to needy crops.
Our own drinking water was delivered by truck into tanks on the roof of the building we lived in. God knows how much my parents paid for this precious resource. My dad had to make sure the tank’s lid was always securely fastened; if not, animals would jump in, desperate to quench their thirst. Our whole water supply was contaminated once, by a cat which was unable to climb out and drowned. In that heat, decomposition happened quickly.
From Kuwait, we moved to Cyprus. How lush and green it seemed by comparison! How fertile, how vibrant with the colour and scent of exotic flowers! Until the summer laid its heat haze across the land, stealing all colour and replacing it with the monotonous gold of dried vegetation. Only the trees, with their deeply entrenched roots, endured.
Now, I live on another island. In Ireland, we take our ready access to water for granted. It rains more days than it doesn’t. We have rivers and lakes in abundance. We extol their beauty, but think nothing of filling them with pollution, or slurping them dry to the benefit of our lush lawns, deep bathtubs, and leaking supply system.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, children are dying because they don’t even have any clean water to drink. Isn’t that a basic, fundamental right?
Well, we can help. Fortunately, charities like Wateraid are working with communities around the world to help them create access to clean water supplies. In support of this, a group of authors have donated stories to an anthology, ‘Of Words and Water’, with the ultimate aim of raising money to fund this vital work.
‘Of Words and Water’ will be available to download on Smashwords, free of charge. All we, the authors, ask, is that at the same time, you make a donation to our ‘Of Words and Water’ Just Giving page. It’s totally secure, and the money you donate goes directly to the charity Wateraid.
And yes, I have had a story accepted for inclusion, and am proud to be doing this small thing in aid of such a wonderful cause.