Date to celebrate - UN World Water Day

6th March 2009 at 00:00

What's it all about?

March 22 marks United Nations World Water Day, a great opportunity to reflect on the importance of having access to clean drinking water - a human right that one eighth of the population lives without.

Assembly ideas

You could start by encouraging the children to think about all of the ways in which they use water every day. Start with everyone standing up and ask them to sit down if they have used water in the following ways: drinking, cleaning their teeth, showering, watering the flowers, washing the car. It won't take long until everyone is sat down, demonstrating how important water is in our daily life.

By contrast, ask the class to think about those children who don't have access to clean water. A good way of bringing this to life is by imagining the morning routine of a typical child in the developing world. Imagine waking up at four or five in the morning to start the six kilometre walk to the nearest water source - a dry river bed where a long queue is already forming.

After waiting your turn to dig down to collect your water, you start the long walk back with your heavy load. This water is also used for washing clothes, bathing and is shared by animals. The water is full of diseases that will make you and your family ill. This task of collecting water has taken up your whole day, leaving no time for school or playing with friends.

Props are a good way of bringing the issues to life - here are a few ideas:

- A glass of dirty water: compare this to a glass of clean water and ask the children to choose which one they'd like to drink.

- A bucket or jerry can full of water: the average weight of water carried in the developing world is 20kgs, which is the equivalent to the baggage allowance on most flights.

- Short films on WaterAid's work are available at www.wateraid.orgfilms.

Help, I've got no time to prepare

www.teachernet.gov.uk has water-related resources.

Where do I get more information?

Educational activities, more lesson ideas and interactive games are available from www.wateraid.orglearnzone.

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