Published in October 2018

On a rainy October day in the UK, I have been reading our annual report. Like other organisations every year we publish a comprehensive account of what we have done over the last 12 months and report on the state of our organisation. It’s always rewarding to look back and remind myself of what, with your help, we have achieved.

The words and numbers are impressive. At the end of March 2018 around 950,000 people had access to fresh clean water thanks to the work of Sand Dams Worldwide and its partners across the world (and since then the number has risen to over 1 million people). That’s considerably more than the population of Glasgow (which is home to over 800,000 people) or Leeds (760,000 people live there) or Bristol (just over 600,000 live in that city). Imagine that. Since we started our work back in 2002 we have worked with communities to provide clean water for more people than live in many of the UK’s major cities.

We have achieved these impressive results by enabling over 1,000 sand dams. If you do the arithmetic you will find that the cost of providing clean water to each of the 1,000,000 we have helped, works out at just £13.00 per person. That’s quite a bargain.

The figures are impressive but what strikes me most about this year’s annual report are the photographs. The document is full of pictures of happy faces. Children drinking clean fresh water, men and women making their way in the world by growing fruit and vegetables to feed their families. These pictures tell very personal stories. They remind us that behind the statistics are individuals whose lives without access to clean water had been hard and perilous. The advent of a sand dam and the opportunity to cultivate and care for the land around it has enabled them to transform their lives. That’s why Christina and Meshack, Eric and Charles and over 1 million other people across the driest parts of the world are smiling. With your help, we have given them a reason to be hopeful about their future. 

So if you do nothing else when you read our annual report this year take a look at the photographs. Get to know the people you have helped over the last year. You have, quite literally, put smiles on their faces.

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