From 2005 to 2017, the City of Hamilton has celebrated World Water Day by inviting Hamilton elementary school children on a 5km walk from the Museum of Steam & Technology to Lake Ontario and back. Children filled pails of water to represent a Haitian child's daily life, gaining an appreciation for the value of water, while raising funds to build wells in Haiti. Over the course of 13 years, Hamilton’s World Water Day Walkathon raised over $262,000 for the Rotary Club of Ancaster’s - Haiti Water for Life Project. These funds have been used to build wells to supply safe, accessible drinking water in rural villages of the Artibonite Valley in Central Haiti.
In August 2017, the City was notified by the Rotary Club of Ancaster of their decision to close the Haiti Water for Life Program. Supporting the project with the World Water Day Walkathon for thirteen years has been a privilege and is an example of the outstanding success that can be achieved when City staff work hand-in-hand with our community partners.
Moving forward, the City will continue to celebrate World Water Day and Canada Water Week by promoting three specific water-related initiatives across the City:
- The 2018 World Water Day Eco-Competition
- The Drinking Water Fountain Poster Contest Program
- The Hamilton Harbour Puppet Shows
Hamilton Water will also be creating a new school-based event to take place every November. The event will celebrate World Toilet Day (recognized by the United Nations each year on November 19th) which focuses on the 61% of the global population (4.5 billion people) without access to safely managed sanitation or who live without a toilet altogether.
This event, like the former walkathon, will educate Hamilton youth on the incredible global importance of safely managed sanitation. It will provide a direct correlation to Hamilton’s Clean Harbour Program and current projects dedicated to improving water quality in Hamilton Harbour. The event will also be an opportunity to engage our community in raising funds to support a registered charity dedicated to sanitation initiatives in poor and developing countries.
Updated event information will be posted once available.
For more information or to book programs contact:
Rob Richarz, Project Manager, Outreach & Education
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 5154
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