Gail and I attended the regular weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Bretby this evening, along with quite a number of other visitors to the club from Swadlincote, Bakewell, Vale of Belvoir and Wirksworth. One of our Ambassadorial Scholars, Courtney Rachel, from the United States was also present with her host counsellor, IPDG Gordon McGlone. Danielle Easton who took part in the District and then Regional finals of the Rotary Young Chef Competition was also present with members of her family, continuing her association with the Rotary Club of Bretby.
The reason for the interest by Rotarians from clubs in the District in this particular meeting was a presentation about Sand Dams by Richard Barnes of Excellent Developments. His presentation coupled with a short film clip about Sand Dams was extremely informative and inspiring. The benefits to local communities in sub Saharan Africa by the use of this simple process is staggering. The installation of a dam, which once the rainy season arrives will quickly fill up with water contained in sand, allows women and children free time for work or education, cultivation of the land to allow them to become self sufficient, abundant supplies of clean water prevent disease - the list goes on and on.
Dams typically cost between £8,000 and £13,000 to build. Once built - by local people - they will last a lifetime and more. A single dam will be sufficient to provide safe, clean water for up to ten years, even in times of drought.
Gail has been co-ordinating the names of clubs that wish to take part in a Sand Dams project and at present about 14 clubs have expressed an interest. Rotarian John Spence, Rotary Club of the Vale of Belvoir has now taken over the project for the forthcoming Rotary year, which will hopefully see the building of at least one such dam erected by clubs in 1220.
Many thanks to President Norman and his team for laying on the evening which proved to be an excellent social occasion.