Providing Clean Water

Old barrels saving lives in Africa

Old barrels saving lives in Africa

An International charity which is run by an Isle of Wight Rotary member is appealing for people to let him have their old barrels to help with a water project in the developing world. Adrian Brewer is particularly targeting caravanners who may have moved to a more updated model and will no longer need the barrel.

Have you got a barrel lying about at home doing nothing? If so, Adrian Brewer wants to hear from you.

Adrian, who is President of Vectis Sunrise Newport Rotary on the Isle of Wight, is also Chief Executive of the Roll Out The Barrel Trust.

The charity has been going since 2006 after Adrian spent time in South Africa and was bewildered how women and children were walking many miles each day to fetch and carry water.

He was determined to do something about it, and has been working in a number of countries distributing barrels which can hold up to 30 litres of water.

“We intend that the elderly, woman and children who collect water from even the closest of water sources or supplies, will no longer need to carry it by hand, on their backs, on their heads or over their shoulders,” explained Adrian.

“Instead, we are providing them with a simple push-pull 30 litre water barrel with a handle and rubber tyres.”

Currently, the charity sends the barrels to target areas in Africa and Asia which have been manufactured either in the UK or at source in the country.

Each barrel costs £35 and will change someone’s life forever.

Now, with the help of volunteers, Adrian is also looking to source unwanted barrels, particularly from caravanners.

Adrian added, “There are possibly tens of thousands of barrels lying around in garages, sheds or attics.

“In 1953, a Shropshire company saw an opportunity to supply a niche market. Caravanning was the new holiday after years of austerity post-war.

“Since then literally millions of people have taken to caravanning in one form or another.

“Until very recently, most caravanners used a rotary water barrel to collect water from site taps, replacing the jerry cans from the 50s, 60s and 1970s.

“Although many people still use the Rotary water barrel, many vans and mobile vans now have built-in tanks reinforcing the presumption that somewhere there are possibly loads of barrels lying unused.”

Adrian is asking that Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland can give a helping hand by sourcing, collecting and then storing these barrels.

They will be collected, taken to the Isle of Wight refurbished and upgraded before being sent around the world.

As part of the appeal Adrian is also encouraging clubs to put in a fiver with each barrel they collect, not dissimilar to shoeboxes, to cover the cost of shipping.

“Clubs could also participate by putting the word out that we are looking for barrels,” Adrian added. “It would be great if clubs could advertise locally.

“These barrels are literally everywhere and they could be used to save lives as well as making life easier for women and children around the world.

“There are 1,200 Rotary clubs in the UK alone. If each one collected just one barrel, the difference in Africa and beyond would be palpable.”

roll out the barrel working successfully in the community

Smiles all round in the community with the water carriers provided by Roll Out The Barrel Trust

Find out more about Roll Out The Barrel on their website, contact the team by email, or call Adrian on +44 7809456247.

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