Sylvie Fréchette, Oxfam-Québec's ambassador, challenges you to take the "World Water Day challenge"!



    MONTREAL, March 19 /CNW Telbec/ - In honour of World Water Day, held on
March 22, Sylvie Fréchette, Oxfam-Québec's ambassador for water, is
challenging the people of Quebec to take the World Water Day challenge! "Last
December, when I was in Niger visiting Oxfam-Québec's projects, the disparity
of access to water astounded me. I met people who had no access to water at
all, and where there was water, people had to work in teams to dig for the
'blue gold' hiding 60 metres below the ground. For them, every drop they could
collect was a victory," she states.
    Accompanied by Judi Richards and Sophie Cadieux, who are also ambassadors
for Oxfam-Québec, Sylvie Fréchette, will be speaking today at the Eaton Centre
to answer questions about access to drinking water throughout the world, and
challenge Quebecers to take the "World Water Day challenge."
    From March 19 to 22, Oxfam-Québec and its partner, the Canadian Union of
Public Employees (CUPE), are launching the challenge to live for 24 hours with
only 20 litres of water, as a sign of solidarity with people who do not have
access to clean water. Twenty litres is the minimum amount recommended by the
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to satisfy basic human needs. It is
worth pointing out that Canadians regularly consume up to 326 litres a day
each!
    Today, more than a billion people throughout the world do not have access
to clean water, and 2.6 billion do not have access to adequately sanitary
conditions. Each year, more than 3 million people die from diseases caused by
contaminated water. In some areas of the world, women and girls have to walk
more than 6 kilometres a day to find water.
    "Underprivileged people are the ones who are the most affected by the
lack of access to water, because they cannot afford to pay the fees to provide
them with this service. Access to water is a fundamental right. The water
crisis necessitates concerted and serious action by world leaders in the North
and the South," adds Christine Laliberté, Deputy Director of Quebec Programs
at Oxfam-Québec.

    
                 To take the challenge, visit www.oxfam.qc.ca
               between March 19 and 22, and sign yourself up!
    

    Note to head writers and others:
    --------------------------------

    The SCFP, represented by Michel Parenteau, Quebec Deputy Director, was
present during the event, and as a partner in Oxfam-Québec's For All!
Campaign, to demand universal access to water, health and education.

    Photos are available upon request.




For further information:

For further information: Justine Lesage, Media Relations Officer for
Oxfam-Québec, (514) 382-7922 ext. 237, Cell: (514) 513-0013

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