Erne Boat Trip

View from the boat

Enniskillen Rotary Clubs most recent fundraising event was for the International Charity Sand Dams in Africa. The Dam is a reinforced concrete wall built in a riverbed to capture and store water beneath sand, filtering and protecting it. The dam can hold 2 - 10 million litres of water and is the lowest cost rainwater harvesting solution. Sand accumulates until the dam is completely full, the water is stored within the sand making up 40% of the total volume. There are three main ways to abstract the water from the sand dam, scooping holes, pipe filtration or shallow wells with pumps.

The cost of building a dam is £15,000, the majority of the manual labour is carried out on a voluntary basis by locals. Without this facility women have to walk up to twenty miles in a return journey carrying 5 gallon pitchers of water on their head. With mothers having to do this on a regular basis, children often miss out on their education by being unable to attend school. With this facility on hand, it will save thousands of lives by avoiding disease and it will also help the farmers to implement improved techniques to increase food production.

Following a very successful boat trip on the Kestrel on Lough Erne organised by International Chairman Ivan Kee, an excellent amount of £1,160 was raised. A few days later a letter was received by Ivan Kee in the post from a mystery donor with a Bank Draft for £14,000 stating that this money was to be used to assist Enniskillen Rotary Club to fund a dam in their own right. The letter was signed "a friend of Rotary". This was the largest single donation received by the Club in its 58 year history.

President of the Club Kenny Fisher and all the Rotarians wish to thank this donor most sincerely for this very generous contribution. Rotary International will also provide an additional 50% grant funding to assist with other ground works associated with the Dam.

As a follow up to this, in the year ahead, the Club hopes to raise funds to erect a 20 km pipeline with water kiosks at various points throughout the line so that locals can collect water easily. The Club also are supporting the Jole Rider charity which involves collecting unwanted bicycles, restoring them and sending them out to Africa. Anyone wishing to donate a bicycle can contact Ivan Kee on 07768000167.