Water worker Helen Allister shared the stage with industry and thought leaders, who converged at Portcullis House of the House of Commons and brought eye-opening facts about water usage at an event to mark World Water Day.
Following a life-changing visit to Mozambique in 2016 to see the work that global charity WaterAid does to bring clean water and adequate sanitation to communities that have none, Helen, a Sewerage Project Manager at Northumbrian Water, was invited to speak at the event.
Speaking alongside Helen, who is from Rowlands Gill, was Secretary of State for International Development and MP for Witham, the Rt Hon Priti Patel; Joint Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Water Group, Baroness Anne McIntosh; Bruce Keith, President of the Chartered Institute of Water; Lord Palmer, and Aaron Burton from Waterwise.
The event, organised by Dr. Ragasudha Vinjamuri, from Sunderland University, was hosted by Bob Blackman MP.
Speaking at the event the Rt Hon Priti Patel, MP said: “Access to clean and safe drinking water is an essential part of development as it helps people to be healthy and plays a role in lifting people out of poverty and hardship. My Department is supporting investment in providing people with access to clean water. Over the last five years we have helped nearly 65 million people access clean and safe water and will support a further 60 million by 2020. Access to clean and safe water has the power to transform lives for the better, which is why it is a central part of the Government’s development programme.
“We are also investing in research to help improve water infrastructure including flood protection. By working together and in partnership with other countries, we can deliver better water and sanitation facilities to improve the health and life chances of the poorest communities in the world.’’
Helen Allister, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been asked to take part in this event. World Water Day is a great time to be conscious of how much water we use every day, and recognise how fortunate we are to have it at our disposal. And, in turn, we must be conscious of how access to clean and safe water positively affects our lives, our economies, and our societies.’’
Organiser of the event, Dr Ragasudha Vinjamuri said: “It was an immense gratification to organise the UN World Water Day at the House of Commons which has had water industry representatives, thought leaders and policy makers coming together and sharing their views and expertise on water efficiency and water poverty. We have gained several meaningful insights from the presentations. To produce and perform a dance choreographic and song pieces depicting the importance of water in lives and livelihoods was creative and interesting. I hope the take home message is put into practice further.’’
Helen Allister added: "As we mark World Water Day every year, you can do so by recognising the vital – and largely underappreciated – role water has in our lives, and reflect on how important it is that we continue to work to ensure that someday everyone is able to take advantage of this important resource in the same ways we enjoy today."
Northumbrian Water’s Northumbrian WaterAid committee of supporters and employee volunteers holds events and conducts fundraising activity for the global charity WaterAid, which aims to deliver clean water and sanitation to all people everywhere in the world.
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Northumbrian Water Limited supplies 2.7 million customers in the North East with both water and sewerage services, trading as Northumbrian Water, and 1.8 million customers in the South East with water services, trading as Essex & Suffolk Water.
In the most recent survey by the Consumer Council for Water, Northumbrian Water was named the UK’s most trusted water company by its customers. 2017 also saw Northumbrian Water named the world’s most ethical water company for the seventh successive year.