With water one of life’s necessities, Kevin Kennedy and Cassandra Gibbs have been touched by the story coming from the Walgett community who are currently living with a short supply of drinking water.
The community has been on level five restrictions for four months and the town’s bore water supply was knocked out of action when it was hit by lightning in a storm.
The bore has since been restored, but drinking water remains in short supply.
This week the town is facing a string of 40 plus degree days.
With connections to Walgett – Mr Kennedy moved from the town to Dubbo a few years ago, and Ms Gibbs has family living in the community – the duo decided something needed to be done to help.
“I heard from the community about their lack of access to fresh drinking water, and I saw a person from Walgett was getting donations together,” Ms Gibbs said.
“We started chatting and we decided to get 20 cartons of water to take up to the community.
However, Ms Gibbs said when they first put the post up they raised enough money for 300-400 cartons, far surpassing their expectation of 20.
“We’ve had donations from people in Brisbane, Tasmania, Townsville, East Timor and America. Currently we are up to $6500 and it will all go towards cartons of water for the people of Walgett,” Ms Gibbs said.
Big W have also donated two pallets of water, 20 cases have been donated by Woolworths Orana Mall plus they are assisting Ms Gibbs and Mr Kennedy with purchase of the water at sale price, and 10Telco have donated a pallet of water.
“It’s been a really great response for the limited amount of information that we have been able to get out there. But now we want more people to know what we are doing, to get some more donations for this community.
“It’s all about making sure the people of Walgett don’t feel that they are alone in what they are going through.
“As a parent I can’t imagine my children not having access to fresh water, especially in this heat. Not being able to rely on going to the tap for a drink, or brushing their teeth, simple things like that.”
“This is a crisis. In 2019 one of our communities should not face not having fresh drinking water.
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“Walgett is a remote community and we have to make sure they are aware that Australia is conscious of what they are going through.”
Mr Kennedy has been taking his car and trailer to Walgett with the water – paying for the petrol from his own pocket.
So far he has completed three trips, with the next to take place on January 21, where between 600-800 cases are hoped to be purchased and delivered.
Since his first trips, Budget Car and Truck Rental Dubbo have come on board and donated the use of a truck to transport even more water to Walgett.
A Facebook page has been established to collect donations for the water. You can find them at https://www.facebook.com/donate/332160854172909/ or search Water To Walgett H2GO.
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