A Very Tall Challenge
Former Government Minister and Kerry football legend, Jimmy Deenihan, has undertaken a Mount Everest Base Camp trek to raise funds to support Irish humanitarian aid agency, GOAL. His aim is to supply a rural community in Eastern Uganda with clean, safe water.
Mr. Deenihan – who is a GOAL board member – has been training for the 5,000-metre expedition over the last six months. He has taken on the challenge with fellow Kerry natives Carly Horan, Claire Trant and Blondie Horan.
The cost of building a new borehole in Uganda, a low-income country with a population of 40 million people, is €6,900. The cost of rehabilitating a borehole that has fallen into disrepair is approximately €2,800.
According to Mr Deenihan, who visited Uganda with GOAL, only 39% of the population has access to safe water and sanitation critical for health, dignity and economic productivity. He said he was inspired to undertake his fundraising trek after his visit.
“I saw at first hand the acute need, and how access to a clean water supply in the heart of a village transforms lives. As well as resulting in a decline in diarrhoea, typhoid, and cholera it means women and children don’t have to walk miles every day to get dirty water at a lake or waterhole”.
Uganda is making progress in providing access to safe water, though the need is still huge. Since 2003, in partnership with the NGO Charity: Water and Irish Aid, GOAL Uganda has improved access to water for over half a million people in the Bugiri and Namayingo.Over the last 16 years, the partnership has resulted in over 400 school and community boreholes being drilled, the rehabilitation of over 125 existing boreholes and the building of over 45 latrine blocks in schools.
Transformation at Local Level
Mr Deenihan is appealing for support for his fundraising initative, having completed his trek last November. “I would love to raise enough money to build at least one new borehole. This relatively small investment can transform hundreds of lives.” he said.
Mr Deenihan served as Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Minister of State for the Diaspora and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry during his political career. He won five All-Ireland Football medals with Kerry.
To help Jimmy’s mission to improve the lives of communities in Uganda, donate here.