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Schoolgirl Hannah Brown goes without water to highlight shortages

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: July 21, 2011

Hannah Brown is using just 10 litres of water a day to highlight shortages affecting half the world's population

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A SCHOOLGIRL is sacrificing water to highlight global poverty.

Hannah Brown, a 16-year-old from Ottery St Mary, is living on just 10 litres of water a day for a week to illustrate water shortages faced by more than half the world's population.

Her challenge involves cutting down on any activity that requires a tap being turned on, including drinking, washing, showering, cooking, and teeth brushing.

She is raising money for Christian charity Tearfund, and is being supported by St Leonard's Church, which she attends in Exeter.

During the week Hannah will be washing in a bucket, hand-washing clothes and dishes, and reusing teeth-brushing water. She will only have three sets of clothes for the week, one set of nightwear, and one set of crockery.

The meagre 10-litre water allowance is a drop in the ocean compared to the amount most people in Britain use each day, but it is equivalent to the amount that 3.8 billion people in the world survive on.

Money donated will help Tearfund to build and maintain toilet and water facilities in developing countries.

Hannah told the Echo that her Christian faith was instrumental in her decision to take on the challenge.

"Following my baptism in May, I saw some information about the Christian charity Tearfund. I was inspired to do the Water Challenge after watching a video blog on the website.

"We take water for granted. Over half the world's population survive on 10 litres of water a day, compared to 200 litres for the average European. In this country we leave the hot water running, or have an extra shower, and no one thinks anything of it."

She is passionate about the need to relieve poverty.

"What motivates me to raise money for Tearfund is that they aim to relieve both material and spiritual poverty. They send out teams through local churches to teach the communities to support themselves. Their partners run projects on the ground to help the communities become self-sufficient."

She added: "I'm only allowed to wear three outfits including pyjamas during the week, which will have to include my school uniform and PE kit. Usually on non-uniform day at school, I want to wear nice clothes, but that week it'll have to be something practical."

She will keep followers updated online through a video blog and a Justgiving page.

"I'm excited about the challenge. It'll certainly be something different.

"I'm being motivated by support I've received from family, friends, people at church and even people I don't know."

Tearfund is a Christian international aid and development agency working globally to end poverty and injustice in around 50 countries.

To sponsor Hannah or find out more about her challenge, visit her online fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/hannahbrown1995.

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  • omnivore23  |  July 22 2011, 4:41PM

    Well done ivor shed Definitely the creepiest posts I have seen fo some time Brrrrrr!

  • Normandy Arms  |  July 22 2011, 4:27PM


  • DANISHBACON  |  July 22 2011, 2:40PM

    dholmes i find it alarming that you mention scout weekends and sharing baths in the same paragraph ...........

  • dholmes2010  |  July 22 2011, 1:21PM

    I'm taking my Scout Troop camping for a week in August. We will be using far less than 10 litres of water per person, per day. Saying that, I think that this cause only needs highlighting to the under 35's. I remember the 70's. One bath a week, shared with siblings and only 3 sets of clothes full stop, let alone limiting yourself.

  • Ivor_Shed  |  July 22 2011, 8:01AM

    Tomgreen1234 Have you got any sense of reality? If 'WE' (I assume you mean the 26 million people working in the UK) ALL gave £20 to 'the poor and starving' then by my reckoning, if we only gave to the poor in India (800m), Pakistan (100m), Bangladesh (122m) and Ethiopia (60m) then they would each get almost 2p. So are you going to give that £20 every week? And I forgot Somalia....... and that wouldn't be fair! And then there's Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sudan, East Timor, Togo, Tuvalu, Uganda, Tanzania, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia. And by the way – I'm not giving my £20 and nor is my wife so can you make your donation up to £60 to keep those 2p pieces rolling in? Must go now – I'm off to the beach to stop the tide coming in

  • tomgreen1234  |  July 21 2011, 10:34PM

    Absolutely WRONG eastdevonmum, it does make a difference. If we all adopted the selfish attitude that you have shown the world will be a much poorer place. I take it you don't care too much for global poverty because you are alright. People like you make me sick.

  • Ivor_Shed  |  July 21 2011, 4:46PM

    Hannah Why are you washing in a bucket, a sink holds less water? unless you are re-using the bucket of water to flush the toilet (you didn't mention number 1s or number 2s). With some preparation you could have constructed an earth closet – even a 2 or 3 holer. Only one set of crockery - you'll have to wash up more often. Why not use disposable plates and cutlery, or better still go to MacDonalds - no washing up and you can use their toilets. Did you know that 68.2% of the world population don't have forks anyway. Have you tried sleeping without pyjamas? I can't continue down that route but it would leave you an extra outfit to go clubbing in. Finally, that baptism ....... was the water re-used afterwards? Must go now - tonight's the night I plan to have a shower - rain is forecast. That should top up my 16,000 litre rainwater tank. I'm happy to donate some of it - where would you like it sent?

  • GRIBBLE666  |  July 21 2011, 3:59PM

    Good for you Hannah take no notice of eastdevonmum i myself have cut down on cider only drinking 10pints a day and my girlfriend has also stopped cleaning her teeth mind you her teeth are black anyway.

  • eastdevonmum  |  July 21 2011, 3:43PM

    This is kind of ridiculous. Yes it's for a good reason but one person reducing their water for a week won't make any difference to anyone. And also that is pretty disgusting that she is re-using 'teeth-brushing water'.

  • EXE49  |  July 21 2011, 2:34PM

    Good on Hannah.