Where water is scarce

You can make every drop count

Let’s get water flowing to where it’s needed and build a climate-resilient future

As rivers dry up, so do incomes

Across the world, climate change is disrupting rainfall patterns. Floods and droughts are both increasing in frequency for everyone, including here in the UK. But for smallholder farmers in the world’s toughest places, this unpredictability is a huge threat to livelihoods.

In southern Zimbabwe, this year’s rainy season materialised too little, too late. Without water nothing could grow. Farmers had to watch their crops wither and perish. When the rain finally arrived, it poured, destroying any remaining plants and washing away fertile topsoil. Many families are facing food shortages and income losses.

On top of the failed harvests, global inflation caused a spike in the cost of essential food items. In May this year, Zimbabwe was added to the UN’s list of hunger hotspots.

But water scarcity is one crisis that can be averted.

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Harnessing sun and sand to capture rainwater

We’ve been working with communities in the Gwanda region to build sand dams. Made from locally available, low-cost materials, sand dams are constructed across dry riverbeds. Sand builds up behind the dam wall. When heavy downpours finally come, water is filtered through the porous sand and stored underneath for the drier months. With the water captured, we add a solar-powered pump and irrigation system to channel it to where it’s needed.

The results have been transformative for smallholder farmers like Lindrose (pictured). With a year-round water supply she’s grown a successful crop of maize, beans and butternut squash. Her family are able to enjoy nutritious meals and her income has increased.

“Now we have a bumper harvest. We can grow crops all year round, and I can support my family.”

Your gift will help us take practical action against avoidable crises.

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“Having water would change our way of living. There would be enough food in the house, and I could pay my children’s school fees.”

Mantombi Ndlovu, a subsistence farmer in Zimbabwe

Be part of the team making big change happen

Your donation will make an immediate difference to the lives of people on the front line of climate change. It can also help us to unlock additional funding to expand the reach of our work. Every gift and every action counts, because it is only by coming together that real change will be achieved. See how your gift grows big change…

Your donation today changes lives…

…with your support, our teams around the world can work with more people to build better, climate-resilient futures.

And creates a ripple effect…

…as we work with local organisations and communities, they pass on their new skills and knowledge to others, building on their success.

Which multiplies your impact…

…because every £1 invested by forward thinking people like you helps us to develop solutions that work, and unlock on average another £2 in grants from foundations and other funders – so we can do even more.

And creates bigger change…

…your gift can help change the systems that drive the problems. When our solutions are picked up by governments or businesses, positive change can happen on a much bigger scale.

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Let’s build a world that works better for everyone

Imagine a world where agriculture and cities enhance the health and wellbeing of both people and planet; where clean energy transforms lives, creates job opportunities and enables productive, profitable farming; where secure incomes are possible and climate resilience is a way of life and a core part of national policies.

You can help create these changes – starting with the small steps that make big transformations possible. Every gift makes a great impact. Thank you for being a changemaker.

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An organisation you can trust

We’re committed to the highest standards in fundraising, transparency and reporting.

For every £1 we receive in donations, just 9 pence is spent on fundraising. The remaining 91% is spent on charitable activities, including 1% on essential governance.

(2020/21 audited accounts, produced to Charity Commission norms).

Expenditure 2020-2021: £26.7 million (91%) on charitable activities and £2.6 million (9%) on fundraising

We are trusted by the UK and overseas governments who fund some of our projects, along with major foundations, corporations and UN bodies.

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