"For many of us, clean water is so plentiful and readily available that we rarely, if ever, pause to consider what life would be like without it."
With under a week to go until I travel to Uganda with WaterAid and thirteen colleagues from the Water Industry, I have been overly conscious about water (Akipi in Ateso) in everything I do. What would it be like if I didn't have easy access to clean water? What if I couldn't go to the toilet in a safe environment?
So what have I done? Not a lot really, baked, gone to the football, stayed in watching the remembrance service on TV. Regardless of what I have done one thing is for sure I certainly needed water and a toilet on more than one occasion over the weekend.
I certainly took for granted while baking that in order to add the 200ml I needed for the sugar syrup in the Gulab Jamun I was baking,all I had to do was turn on the tap. When my parents came round, all I had to do to make them a tea was go to the kitchen and fill up the kettle.
This time next week I will be learning how people in Uganda prepare food, gather water and look after their families. I will be seeing the problems they have and the work WaterAid is doing to try and address this.
Everywhere we go we expect to have access to a clean toilet. As I walked towards the Amex Stadium to watch Brighton play, desperate for a wee I began to ponder: What would it be like to not know there was somewhere safe and clean (well, cleaner than I imagine the Bwaise slums to be!) to go to te toilet. But we take these facilities for granted, we even moan when we find them in a poor condition. Its these sorts of things that I think about as I prepare for this trip.
Please don't misunderstand, I am not saying that our expectation for a clean toilet and fresh running water at the turn of a tap are an unnecessary luxury.All I am saying is that it is important to remember that in a world where smart phones and the internet are becoming a 'need,' there are still some people in the world that don't have access to water and sanitation.
Well, that's all from me now until we travel next week. I must now go off and pack, I think I have everything sorted now, most importantly I have started taking Bimuno, hopefully a godsend.
If you want to know any more about our trip head over to wateraid.org. You can also read my fellow travellers blogs here.