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Hampstead teens visit Africa for water charity

PUBLISHED: 09:00 20 May 2013

Wateraid - Nick, front and Lea, at a clean water pump in Zambia with George Rosenfeld

Wateraid - Nick, front and Lea, at a clean water pump in Zambia with George Rosenfeld

Archant

Two schoolboys have visited an African village to help thousands of inhabitants access clean water.

Leo Gundle, 17, of Wildwood Road, Hampstead Garden Suburb, and Nick Collee, 14, of North End Road, Golders Green, travelled to Zambia with representatives from charity WaterAid during their Easter holiday.

The City of London School, where Leo is a pupil, is hoping to raise £65,000 for the charity, which provides water pumps in rural areas, helping to prevent fatal diarrhoea-related diseases.

Transformed

As part of their trip, the boys met locals whose lives have been affected by dirty water, including a grandmother who looks after her grandchildren since their mother died.

Last year, two of her grandchildren, aged six and seven, died, because of diarrhoea caused by dirty water they had no choice but to drink.

They also met villagers whose lives have been transformed by having clean water.

Leo said: “The trip was amazing and it was great to see the kinds of things the money goes towards.

“We visited both pre and post- intervention villages which didn’t and did have pumps to highlight the contrast.

“It was amazing to see the difference one pump can make to a community. Just £15 gives safe water and sanitation for life.”

The boys also saw the problems caused by mass migration to the city with thousands living in unplanned settlements.

They visited Ngombe, an overcrowded slum in Lusaka, which is home to 70,000 people with no adequate sanitation and only 54 water points between them.

Many had to collect water from the stream that ran around the outside of the slum – the same stream that sewage, waste, and rubbish went into.

Nick, from University College School, Hampstead, said: “I’d never been to sub-Saharan Africa before so when you see the differences it’s quite shocking. You don’t realise how important water is for everything.”

If they hit their fundraising target, it could transform more than 4,300 people’s lives.

So far £25,000 has been raised through sponsored walks and a 28-hour rowathon, while Nick has been selling homemade bagels to fellow pupils. To donate £2, text CLSB13 to 70070.

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