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#WTMA17: When Just a Drop can make everything count

During the World Travel Market of 1998, Fiona Jeffery OBE, founded and launched Just a Drop, an initiative to help raise awareness on the importance of access to safe and sanitised water.
This year, Just a Drop partnered with WTM Africa which, through its responsible tourism agenda, highlighted the campaign, This Bottle is a Lifesaver. The campaign urged people to donate R20 for a reusable, biodegradable water bottle while emphasising the importance of keeping hydrated throughout the event.

#WTMA17: When Just a Drop can make everything count
As water is a basic human need, Jeffery’s wanted to urge the travel industry and its consumers to give back to the communities that they travel to. She did this by creating appropriate solutions for the needs of the local communities and locations considering water availability, culture, and local economic conditions. These viable solutions included borehole wells, hand-dug wells, gravity water systems, pipeline, rainwater harvesting and storage, sand dams, and latrines.

The sanitation and water impact


According to Just a Drop’s event manager, Louise Geoghegan, scarcity of water in countries like Afghanistan, Kenya, Indonesia, Malawi, Sri Lanka and Nepal, to name a few, have led to an increase in illness and have placed both women and children in danger, having to travel over 6km a day to retrieve water, which ultimately leaves them vulnerable to attack. With the added value of the above-mentioned solutions, Just a Drop has made headway through This Bottle is a Lifesaver campaign by raising funds, providing water, creating opportunities for better health, and a chance to have water to grow crops and feed families.

Helping communities help themselves


Working with Africa Sand Dam Foundation, Just a Drop have also been constructing sand dams and rock catchments to ensure that communities have a lasting supply of clean water. One such community includes the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity Project in Makueni County, Kenya, who have had exposure to sand dams, which regularly cleans the water of any impurities and which in turn, makes water safer to drink.

Sand dams are not only a low cost and low maintenance, they are an effective part of climate adaptation and relief, providing a source of water, and help to overcome the water shortages that seasonal uncertainties in rainfall and drought can cause.
#WTMA17: When Just a Drop can make everything count

One sand dam is capable of storing up to 20m litres of water, supplying up to 1,000 people with water all year round.

Communities in training 


Just a Drop’s local ownership is important to the suitability of the projects. Most of the projects are community led, so members are self-managed and involved every step of the way – training allows them to maintain the sanitation process and develop sustainable agriculture and, as a result, project support and engagement is enhanced.

Just a Drop was established with a clear business case for responsible tourism and offers investors an opportunity to add value in a new and innovative way that sees communities in need benefit, and in doing so, impact the lives of children and families through a global reach.

World Travel Market has become the ideal platform to motivate the travel industry to be a part of this worthwhile initiative that sees business synergy and its values, intertwine.



Visit Just a Drop for more information.

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