Nationwide, bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes and their customers are being encouraged to make a donation to WaterAid when they provide or drink tap water.
Tap into WaterAid is a simple way for bars and their customers to help bring water to the 884 million people worldwide who have no access to safe drinking water.
The Tap into WaterAid campaign encourages licensees to ask their customers to make a small donation, for example 15 pence, in return for their tap water.
A suggested sum can be added to the customer’s bill or collected in money boxes on the bar. All donations made are passed on to WaterAid to fund life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene education projects throughout Africa, Asia and the Pacific region.
Banners restaurant in London’s Crouch End pioneered this venture when, in 2005, they started asking customers for a 15p donation in return for table water. Since then Banners have raised an amazing £20,000 for WaterAid and a further 400 establishments are now taking part in the initiative.
Juliette Banner, owner of Banners, explains: “It’s so easy for all of us to take tap water for granted – but here in the UK, we are the lucky ones. This scheme is simple, clear and wonderfully effective. In a matter of months, those pennies can turn into thousands of pounds – it’s incredible!
With one in eight people not having access to safe water, WaterAid are hoping that the bar industry will feel inspired to get involved.
Under the government’s new mandatory code for drinks retailers, which took effect in April, establishments are obliged to provide patrons with free tap water.
“We’re hoping that through Tap into WaterAid we will soon see bar tenders, managers and customers feeling motivated to join in with this activity, while putting a positive spin on the new drinks code,” says WaterAid’s Susie Henderson, overseeing this project.
“As it costs just £15 for WaterAid to bring safe water, sanitation and hygiene education to someone in poverty, the momentum that we could create through this initiative would literally change lives.”