MARCH is Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Month
March is Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Month
My thoughts this month are with those all affected by the terrible flooding experienced in our District and through out the World.  While I write this I am conscious of some of you who have lost everything and have to start all over again. I have been working hard with many Rotarians District and Worldwide to attempt to raise funds for those devastated by these weather events and believe to date we have successfully raised close to $100,000 to assist with those seriously affected.
March is Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Month.  With the pressures that have been placed on NZ water and sanitation services over the flooding it is a great reminder that despite us not being a third World country we can still be badly affected by major weather events and how very important clean water, access to sanitation and high levels of hygiene really are. It puts these issues in true perspective and makes us realise that while there are over 750 million people in the world lacking access to safe water and more than 2.5 billion people lacking access to adequate sanitation facilities, we are not exempt from the devastating impact a lack of these services creates.
Providing clean water is one of Rotary’s seven areas of focus. Our District has focused on providing clean water and sanitation services to many of our Island counterparts over many years as we have recognised that clean water and sanitation is a human right.  Rotary hasn’t just built wells and walked away but they have established water, sanitation and hygiene into education projects. Thereby providing lessons that can be taught to others which expand their impact on a wider network.
With the recent weather events in NZ, and the reality that these may happen more frequently in the coming years, we may wish to debate whether we also need to look at how Rotary can have others focus on this area to strengthen our own systems in NZ to better cater for these weather events as well as sharing that knowledge and expertise with other Countries less fortunate than ourselves.
Our hearts go out to all of those who have been affected by the floods and particularly to our fellow Rotarians. Kia Kaha/ Stay Strong
Kevin Forgeson
District Governor
Rotary District 9930
Mobile: 021 382 831 / Work: 07 878 8036