Give the gift of water

By staff writers
May 27, 2009

In the western world, most people take it for granted that when they turn on a tap, they will get safe, clean drinking water. This is not the case for many in the developing world, where drought and water water-borne diseases are rife. It is not uncommon for people to die from lack of water, and diseases such as cholera and dysentery are a constant threat.

Although water is essential for human life, 99% of the earth’s water is unsafe. Somewhere in the region of 1.2bn people do not have access to safe water, and around 2.6bn have insufficient sanitation. The gap between standards in the developed world and the less developed world is stark: in one flush of a toilet, we in the West use more water than most Africans would in the course of an entire day.

Buying the charity gift of water is a simple and effective way to improve the quality of life for poor people around the world. When wells are available, they are few and far between. Many must take long daily journeys to collect water, often for an extortionate price. Also, drawing water from a traditional well is very hard work, and drains energy very quickly in dry, hot climates.

Many of the major charities run charity gift schemes that connect the poorest people in the world with those who can help them financially. By buying a water charity gift you can help lift developing countries out of poverty – one family or community at a time.

Charity gifts are also a great way to celebrate a friend or loved one's birthday or anniversary. Show them you really care (in more ways that one), without giving unwanted clutter.

Check out some of the water related charity gifts on offer right now:

Water kits for 10 families

This charity gift form UNICEF contains enough buckets, collapsible water containers, soap and water-purification tablets for ten families. These simple kits help families collect, purify and store water.

Click here to buy this charity gift from UNICEF's Inspired Gifts

Rainwater collection

Collecting rainwater can be an effective way of ensuring a supply of water for those in developing countries. This water tank charity gift includes the labour and materials needed to install a rainwater tank.

Click here to buy this charity gift from Oxfam Unwrapped

Safe water for 60 people

The benefits of this charity gift are spread far and wide. Oxfam will install enough taps and pipes to ensure that an entire community has access to clean, fresh water.

Click here to buy this charity gift from Oxfam Unwrapped

Rainwater Harvester

The water problem for Bangladeshis is not typical. They are surrounded by water, and are annually inundated by punishing floods. This water is not fit for drinking however, and water-borne diseases are common and often fatal.

This rainwater harvester provides access to fresh clean water falling straight from the sky.

Click here to buy this charity gift from Christian Aid's Present Aid

Fix a well

Oxfam’s ‘fix a well’ charity gift provides enough money for the ongoing maintenance of a community well, including tools, training and spare parts. And all for the same price as calling out a plumber in the UK.

Click here to buy this charity gift from Oxfam Unwrapped

Share the cost of building a well

You may want to club together with friends to buy this priceless gift. Although it will set you back £271, the benefit to the pupils at the school in Mbella, Senegal, will be immense.

By sharing the cost of building a well for the school, you are helping to ensure that children get the education they need to lift Senegal out of poverty in the long run.

Click here to buy this charity gift from World Vision's Must Have Gifts


This is also quite an expensive gift, but its benefits are huge. This tubewell charity gift from Present Aid will supply clean, fresh water to those who would normally have walk three kilometres each day.

Arati Hembrom from Bangladesh used to do this trip for her family. She also had to pay an entire day’s wage to for her supply. This tubewell charity gift has changed her life immeasurably.

Click here to buy this charity gift from Christian Aid's Present Aid

Pedal-Power Pump

This simple water pump is foot activate and saves energy and draws six times as much water as a traditional hand pump. This charity gift wont cost you much, but it will change lives.

Click here to buy this charity gift from Practical Action's Gifts in Action

It is very quick and easy to buy a charity gift. All you do is visit the web site, pick a charity gift that suits your needs, and then choose a card with a personal message to send to your loved one on whose behalf you are buying the charity gift.

The main charity gift sites are as follows:

Christian Aid – Present Aid

World Vision – Must Have Gifts

Oxfam – Unwrapped

Practical Action – Gifts in Action

CAFOD – World Gifts

Action Aid – Gifts in Action

UNICEF – Inspired Gifts

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