Hikers called on to walk for wateraid

An international charity is calling on Aberdeenshire walkers of all abilities to scale their favourite peak to provide clean drinking water to some of the world’s poorest people.

Whether its Bennachie or Tap O’ North, charity WaterAid is calling on climbers and walkers of all levels to conquer (or re-conquer!) their favourite local mountain and raise vital funds to provide access to clean water and sanitation to rural communities in Nepal.

Participants will join over 2,000 other walkers around the UK and Ireland taking part in the 2013 WaterAid200 challenge on Saturday June 8 and take on their chosen mountain to raise money for the charity.

The challenge aims to put a different team on top of 200 different mountains in the UK and Ireland while raising over £200,000 to help fund work to improve access to safe water and sanitation in Nepal.

Around three quarters of Nepal is covered by the Himalayas, home to nine of the fifteen highest peaks in the world.

Many people in the country live without access to clean water and sanitation.

Around 738 million people live without access to clean drinking water and 2.5 billion, around 39% of the world’s population, live without adequate sanitation.

The 200 peaks in the challenge have been selected by WaterAid supporters and include many in the Eastern Highlands, close to Braemar and Inverurie. Teams can enjoy the stunning views from the summit of Bennachie or conquer Tap O’North, the second highest hillfort in Scotland.

Visit www.wateraid200.org to find out more about the challenge, sign-up and claim your favourite peak.

Anna McGuire, Senior Events Officer at WaterAid, said that taking on the challenge would help others to “climb out of poverty”: “By taking part in WaterAid 200 you can know that with every step, you are helping others to climb out of poverty by providing access to safe water and sanitation and reducing the time spent collecting water each day in one of the most mountainous regions of the world.

“You don’t need to be a mountaineer or experienced climber to take part - with climbs that range from gentle slopes to steep scrambles and take in some of the best views, and pubs!, in Scotland, there really is a peak for everyone!”

WaterAid is an non-governmental organization.

The international organisation works in 27 countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 17.5 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 12.9 million people with sanitation.