Chaz Powell Becomes One of the First to Walk the Length of the Gambia River

After 47 days, 1120km and 1.5 million steps, adventurer, expedition leader and Water-to-Go ambassador Chaz Powell along with his fellow adventurer and expedition photographer Tim Roberts have become the first people in known history to walk the length of the Gambia river from its source in the Fouta Djallon, Guinea to the Atlantic Ocean on Africa’s Western coast.

This epic journey took them through Guinea, Senegal and the complete length of The Gambia to become the first people in known history to walk the river’s length. The map below shows the route they took.

The 1120km shown on a ZeroSixZero map

“It was an incredible life changing expedition that’s taken us through, wild, rugged and breath-taking landscapes from day one!”

Chaz Powell and Tim Roberts

They said it was “a challenging adventure that’s seen us trek through extreme temperatures and harsh landscapes, whilst enduring constant hunger, dehydration and walking amongst the wildest of animals! But also it’s been the most incredible of journeys where we’ve experienced unending hospitality and kindness from the most humble of people.”

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz is no stranger to adventure and has over 15 years of remote travel and expedition experience. In 2016/17 he spent 137 days walking the 3000km length of the Zambezi River, Africa’s fourth longest and wildest river; becoming only the second person in known history to complete this wild and dangerous journey by foot. Roberts joined Chaz on this latest wildest journey as expedition photographer and to help document this historic feat. He’s also no stranger to adventure and has walked various challenging treks all over the world.

This expedition will go down as one of their biggest challenges but also achievements to date as they have now both written themselves into the history books. Whilst they both wanted to test themselves on another wild journey, an important aspect surrounding the expedition was to experience Africa and learn about the wildlife, the culture and the people that live and depend on the Gambia River.

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz and Tim experienced cultures and communities first-hand that many people would not have known even existed so this adventure was able to provide a real insight to Africa that would have been completely different to what many people had experienced before.

It’s important to remember that this was no walk in the park as Chaz and Tim definitely faced a number of challenges along the way including dealing high temperatures and threats from wild animals. One of the major challenges on the expedition was finding safe drinking water. To solve this, Chaz and Tim were pleased to work with the UK company, Water-to-Go. Water-to-Go is a portable water filtration system that eliminates well in excess of 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source. This, therefore, allowed them to fill their bottles up from any freshwater stream, local tap or from the Gambia river itself to keep themselves healthy and hydrated throughout the expedition without getting ill.

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz has used his trusted Water-to-Go bottle on many of his adventures and this on-going partnership highlights his commitment to sustainable travel and protecting the environment. The Water-to-Go ambassador is keen to eliminate all single-use plastic bottles on his expeditions and showcase a simple alternative that everyone can use.

One of the main reason’s behind this expedition was to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and highlight serious wildlife crimes that are happening along the remote regions surrounding Africa’s rivers. Chaz partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation for this expedition, one of the oldest and largest conservation organizations that focuses on the protection of African wildlife and wildlands. Throughout his expedition, Chaz was providing his observations of Africa’s wildlife, wild lands and people to the charity.

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz also highlighted our partnership and current charity project with the African Wildlife Foundation whilst on this expedition. Water-to-Go are working with the African Wildlife Foundation in order to raise money and awareness of the work that they do and to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. We have produced a limited edition bottle, that Chaz used on his expedition, to raise awareness and funds for the organisation.

If you want to get involved in the campaign, Water-to-Go’s special AWF branded bottles are still available via our website with £10 from each bottle purchased being donated to the incredible projects and programs run by African Wildlife Foundation.

“Through my ‘The Wildest Journey’ expeditions, I hope to inspire people to take note on what’s happening to the remaining wildlife and wild lands and support my journeys to help me raise the vital funds needed to ensure these places are protected and managed well for future generations.”

Chaz Powell

Chaz has a lot more expeditions in store so watch this space to see where he will be exploring next on ‘The Wildest Journey.’

Credit: Tim Roberts

You can help support his remote journeys and be part of helping support his cause by visiting and donating at – www.justgiving.com/TheWildestJourney

Keep up with what Chaz is up to and follow his expeditions on Facebook and Instagram (@thewildestjourney)

Credit: Tim Roberts

Ash Dykes: the good, the bad and the ugly of Mission Yangtze

Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, is continuing to make great progress on his current mission to trek the entire length of China’s Yangtze River. He has already passed the half-way mark and is encountering a new side of the Yangtze as he goes from very rural to more urban parts of this amazing river.

We wanted to get the thoughts of Ash after getting to the half-way point in his expedition and his observations so far. In particular, we were interested to hear about the food, the people and his observations of the Yangtze in general. It is clear that there has been a good, a bad and an ugly side of Mission Yangtze.

A lot of people in the UK and the western world are into their Chinese takeaways and have asked Ash whether or not the typical Chinese takeaway meals, are the same as the actual dishes in China. The quick answer would be “no, not really”. In China, it’s better, healthier and there is so much more choice, with the dishes being different in each province.

One of the first places Ash visited was Quinhai, a province in West China, which is one of if not the most wildest parts of Asia in general. There are a lot of locals still living the nomadic way of life, herding their yak and moving from place to place. There are a lot of mongols that Ash has come across, living with their families in nomadic tents and yurts. Up here at 4000 to 5000 metres above sea-level, they experience very extreme conditions. It is very wild and isolated. The temperature is below 0 most of the time, and in Winter it hits -30 degrees Celsius or more

So their food is very heavy and stodgy with a lot of calories to keep them energised. Qinghai Province (west China) which has more of a Tibetan food influence, is made up mainly of fats, proteins and dairy products. It’s heavy and stodgy food that is well needed for those kinds of environments, where there are harsh temperatures and it is at altitude. Ash had a lot of Yak meat, yoghurt, bread, milk, butter and tsampa (roasted flour, usually barley flour and sometimes also wheat flour. It is usually mixed with the salty Tibetan butter tea and great to actually carry with you on long hikes).

When Ash’s journey started to drop in altitude and he ventured into the Sichuan province, the food started to dramatically change. The climate was warmer, there were more plantations and vegetation, the food was far more diverse and a lot tastier, with herbs and spices added to the mix. Sichuan is famous for its spicy hotpots (originally from Chongqing) and the food here does have a kick.

Breaking into Yunnan, they have everything here with so many great dishes. They have all the vegetables, all the meats; and produce loads of meals, suited for all types of eaters. This has been Ash’s favourite cuisine of #MissionYangtze so far.

If you have been following Ash on social media, it is clear that there is an awful lot to experience and witness along the Yangtze river, much of which hasn’t been explored before. The Yangtze is officially the third longest river in the world. In fact, it is only a tad shorter than the Amazon or the Nile – only a couple of days extra walking to make up the difference according to Ash.

People assume that, because of the sheer size of it, the Yangtze is very heavily polluted but to say that, you would be very much mistaken. It perhaps is at the end of it and Ash will observe this at the end of his expedition. Ash has walked over 2000 miles so far and the river has been brown at times. But this is mainly because of the heavy storms they experience there; washing down dirt and clay off mountains in the water and turning it that colour. At the moment, Ash is happy to report that it is blue and very fresh, clean, clear.

“This is another shock. I thought I’d find polluted water – but the 2,000 miles of what I’ve done so far, has been quite fresh. It’s blue and there’s lots of wildlife. Now I’ve hit the halfway point and I’m starting to go north-east, towards Shanghai, I will start seeing a different river. I don’t look forward to seeing that. I took a last look at the Yangtze in all its health, nice and blue.”

Ash Dykes

So there is a lot of good work being done that Ash has seen and been told about by the locals. There is a lot of protection for aquatic life and endangered wildlife in particular. Ash only learned a few weeks ago that there is there is still the wild dolphin along with the Yangtze alligator that still habits there; that was originally written off as being extinct.

Ash has walked through the main Yangtze provinces of Yunan, Sichuan and Qinghai so far. Each province has its own different people, dialects, feuds, plantations and vegetation. Ash has experienced a different way of life in each of these provinces which has only furthered his knowledge of the Yangtze and China as a whole. But one thing has remained the same – the people and their manner. Wherever Ash has been, the locals have been so friendly and hospitable. He has been welcomed into the community and has been offered a place to stay and eat wherever he has been. The people always try their best to accommodate.

However, it hasn’t always been easy when the people have tried to show their kindness. This ‘kindness’ has often ended up with Ash being detained and questioned by the police! Ash has gone to such wild places that they don’t know what to do so they just end up calling the police. The police have often rocked up at 2/3 am – not to cause harm but to question him as they are worried for his safety. Ash is aware that they might not have seen a westerner before and this has been part of the confusion. The policed have taken him in but always let him go eventually. Ash has just taken it in his stride and accepted that it has just a part of mission.

One of the main aspects of Ash’s expedition was to experience the people and the different cultures along the Yangtze. Ash has been surprised at the sheer number of communities and people that live along and depend on the Yangtze. There are at least 111 cities along the Yangtze, that Ash is aware of, that have a population higher than New Zealand which is staggering. With it being so long at 4000 miles, the Yangtze caters for everyone so you find a diverse range of people that live along there.

The first half of his journey has taken him through China’s ‘wild west’, exposing him to the elements and vistas of jaw-dropping beauty. Now he’s preparing to tackle the urbanised east, where human development dominates and cities are interspersed with paddy fields.

“The first half [of this trip] was always anticipated to be the most difficult. It’s sensitive being so close to Tibet and it’s so remote and wild. The terrain was tricky, temperatures dropped below minus 20C, there were snow blizzards and there was a threat from bears and wolves.”

Ash Dykes

The mission got off to a fairly rocky start – complications with permits, visas and his support team have pushed the challenge back by a few weeks. “On the way up the mountain I lost my videographers through a combination of altitude sickness and the extreme cold,” says Dykes. “Then, my local guide was doubled over and I checked on him, his nose was bleeding and he was struggling for breath. He’s a local Tibetan, who lives in a village at about 3,500 metres [11,500 feet] [above sea level], but even he had to turn back.” This was a big wake-up call for Ash and everyone following the expedition to realise the sheer danger and harsh conditions that is encompassed with this mission.

Despite this, Ash has carried on like the true Welsh warrior that he is and was delighted to reach the half-way mark after so many setbacks and difficulties. However, Ash will be facing a different set of challenges as he starts to travel through the more urban parts of the Yangtze. Ash still has another 2000 miles of adventuring through Chinese terrain where he will encounter fresh challenges and amazing experiences along the way. Ash is prepared for what is to come over the next several months.

“There will be different challenges – maybe snakes and spiders. I can’t go trampling on someone’s land so I’ll have to go around and that’s going to be more annoying and irritating than anything else. The river is a lot deeper, so the tributaries are wider and there’ll be more detours. The river is just under 4,000 miles but this will end up being more than a 4,000 mile trek.”

Ash Dykes

Whilst the many changes in scenery, people and food; there is one thing that remains the same on his journey that is always there – his Water-to-Go bottle. He has carried his trusted Water-to-Go for the duration of this mission and his 2 previous world firsts across Mongolia and Madagascar to keep him healthy and hydrated with safe clean drinking water.

There have been many points along this mission where he has been desperate for water and has simply filled his Water-to-Go bottle with water straight from the Yangtze itself and the 3-in-1 technology filter has allowed him to drink it straight away.

His Water-to-Go bottle has been an essential item on all of his travels to provide him with safe, drinking water wherever he is. Not only does it help him save money, but it also helps him to save weight and save the planet by not needing to purchase single-use plastic bottles that we find so often polluting our rivers and oceans.

A major part of Ash’s expedition is to travel responsibly and sustainably, and the Water-to-Go bottle allows him to do this. Ash has been explaining this to the people he meets on his journey and is trying to help them become more sustainable as a community. Water-to-Go is the ideal alternative to single-use plastic bottles and we are delighted that Ash is promoting this message on his biggest expedition yet.

Overall, Ash is pleased with how his expedition is going and everything that he is learning about the Yangtze. He is looking forward to the next chapter and will look to keep us all updated with his progress.

Keep track of Ash on his live tracker

So make sure you keep up with Ash on social media as he continues his expedition and experiences the beauties of the Yangtze and China in general.

Water-to-Go are working with the African Wildlife Foundation

Water-to-Go are delighted to announce that we are working with the African Wildlife Foundation in order to raise money and awareness of the work that they do to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. This is an exciting new partnership for the business as we continue to grow and spread the message about Water-to-Go.

African Wildlife Foundation is improving the lives of local people alongside protecting wildlife and their habitat so both can have a sustainable fugure. AWF works directly with communities and local partners to understand the obstacles faced and find solutions specific to their needs so that livelihoods do not destroy the natural environment or threaten the survival of wildlife. By providing incentives such as economic enterprises, access to better education or sharing income from tourism, AWF’s programmes support communities to develop whilst embracing conservation. We are pleased to be supporting these initiatives through this campaign.

Kirstin Johnson, UK Director of the African Wildlife Foundation; Chaz Powell, UK adventurer and Water-to-Go ambassador; Dave Shanks, CEO and Founder of Water-to-Go

Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has nearly 60 years of experience working to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in a modern Africa. As one of the oldest and largest conservation organizations focused solely on the continent of Africa, AWF is the primary advocate for the protection of African wildlife and wild lands.

For this campaign, Water-to-Go has produced a special edition bottle that is available via our website. We will donate £10 from every special bottle sold towards AWF’s work to protect the wildlife and wild lands in Africa. 

African Wildlife Foundation Limited Edition 75cl filter bottle

Water-to-Go bottles protect our planet by providing an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use plastic. On his travels around the world, Water-to-Go founder Dave Shanks was shocked at the piles of plastic waste he saw that were damaging local communities and the planet. He sought to create a sustainable solution to this problem and developed a reusable, recyclable water bottle that contains a unique 3-in-1 filter that provides safe drinking water anywhere. Now, Water-to-Go are working with AWF to ensure the sustainable future of Africa’s people, wildlife and land.

Africa loses 8 percent of its elephants to poaching every year. AWF’s programmes include training and equipping rangers, deploying sniffer and detection dogs, setting aside protected areas for critically endangered wildlife and educating the public and those responsible for law enforcement on how the destruction of habitat and illegal wildlife trade is robbing Africa of its future. You can all get involved in our project to support wildlife conservation and ensure Africa’s elephants do not become endangered.

We are delighted to be working with a charity of the calibre and influence of the African Wildlife Foundation. They align with the visions and goals of our business, and together we are committed to making a difference. Through this campaign, we are doing our bit to help protect Africa’s wildlife and wild lands.

The African Wildlife Foundation joins Water-to-Go in its vision to protect the planet by reducing single-use plastic water bottles on their member safaris, and by distributing Water-to-Go bottles to a selection of rangers protecting wildlife on the front line. Water-to-Go will be donating some of these limited edition AWF bottles to the charity so that these rangers can stay healthy and hydrated wherever they are.

Water-to-Go was delighted to be invited to the Royal Over-seas League in London to hear about AWF’s partnership with the Rwandan Development Board that focuses on Mountain Gorilla Conservation in Rwanda alongside community empowerment and development.

This is just one of many initiatives in Africa that are improving people’s lives as well as protecting the wildlife that is so important to the future of the country. It was fantastic to hear about this and to know that our campaign will be actively contributing to these projects.

We were also delighted to meet Yamina Karitanyi, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to the UK, at the event who has fully endorsed our project with AWF. CEO and Founder of Water-to-Go, Dave Shanks, got the chance to speak with her about the business and our project with AWF so we are very pleased to have their backing and support going forward.

Yamina Karitanyi, High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to the UK; and Dave Shanks, Founder and CEO of Water-to-Go
We need your help if we want this campaign to be a success. If you want to be a part of this campaign, just click the link below and keep up to date on our social media channels. Thank you in advance for your support.

To learn more, visit www.watertogo.eu/awf

Ash Dykes Reaches Halfway Point in #MissionYangtze

UK adventurer and Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, has reached the halfway point of his massive mission to trek the entire length of China’s Yangtze River. Despite everything that has been thrown at him, Ash has continued to make excellent progress and has already completed half of his third world-first and biggest mission to date.
Ash has walked 2000 miles along the river to reach this huge milestone, and along the way has faced all kinds of life-threatening dangers (landslides, bears and being tracked by a pack of wolves) as well as being held up 5 times by police/government officials.

Death-defying extreme athlete Ash Dykes reached safety at the halfway point of his mammoth world first expedition 9th January 2019, having faced immense threats to his safety whilst attempting to walk the entire length of China’s Yangtze River in just a year.

Having set off on 26th August 2018, Ash has battled the elements and overcome many obstacles to get to where he is now. There have been several times where Ash has feared for his life but has relied on his intense training regimes and wild instincts to get him through a tough first half of the expedition. Despite many tough moments, he has always had the confidence and reassurance to trust his to deliver clean, safe drinking water to keep him hydrated through his mission.

Attempting to complete this expedition and even getting to where he is now is no mean is no mean feat. The Yangtze is the longest river to flow through a single nation and stretches almost 4000 miles from west to east China, through eleven provinces, diverse ecosystems and multiple major cities including Chongqing and Shanghai.

It has taken Ash 136 days and 2000 miles of intense trekking across some of the world’s most dangerous and remote provinces to reach the halfway point in the small Chinese city of Panzhihua, having set off from the Yangtze River’s true, scientific source in the Tibetan Plateau on 26th August last year.

In one of the few remaining ‘firsts’ to be attempted by man, Ash and his team have faced huge challenges on this first half of the expedition, with eight out of nine of Ash’s teammates dropping out mid-mission due to injury, illness or fears for their safety.

The mission got off to a difficult start when Ash’s Tibetan guide suffered the serious effects of altitude sickness on the way to the source of the river and required urgent medical attention, delaying the expedition’s start date. Since then, bears travelling down the mountain to find food before hibernation have posed the greatest threat to Ash’s life; closely followed by wolves. Ash was tracked by a pack of wolves for two days straight not long after the trek began, and has faced the very real threat of aggressive wild yaks, cobras, and giant hornets along the way.

Other natural elements have also made this challenge particularly immense, with temperatures as low as -20 degrees celsius, snow blizzards, glacial river crossings, and landslides pushing Ash to his limit and, at times, forcing him to detour and lose precious days.

Although the most remote, dangerous and uncertain leg of the expedition is now behind Ash, the remainder of the trek will pose threats of different kinds. Rather than bears, wolves and wilderness, Ash will encounter heavily populated cities and some of the most polluted areas of any river in the world. The hot, rainy season means the river is more likely to flood, and as the river widens so do its tributaries, meaning crossings will be more difficult and could lead to further detours and delays.

Despite this, Ash remains positive. He said:

“Without a doubt, Mission Yangtze has been the biggest challenge I’ve undertaken to date.  Physically I was as prepared as I could be, but mentally it’s hard to get ready for the harsh and remote landscapes, sub zero temperatures, and the difficulties these bring. I have trekked through some of the most breathtaking and unspoilt parts of the world, but I’ve never felt so vulnerable to the elements and predators as I have done over the past few months.”

Ash Dykes

“China is an unbelievably diverse country, with each province I’ve crossed bringing unique terrains, climates, wildlife and challenges. I was actually stopped on five occasions by the police, as government officials worried for my security and safety. Despite having to retrace 40 miles worth of the trek after being detained, we managed to push on with the backing of the Qinghai Government and CBCGDF, and really appreciate their concern.”

“Despite the challenges, I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the kindness and hospitality shown by the people I’ve encountered so far. I always say that the locals make or break an adventure, and so far the Chinese have been amazing. It’s been hugely rewarding living and integrating with locals, meeting schools and families, and learning about their lives and traditions.”

“The Yangtze has also been incredibly clean so far, as the Tibetan people will not so much as fish out of the river, let alone throw rubbish in it. I know the second half will be far more polluted, but it’s a common misconception that the entire Yangtze River is being destroyed by the effects of industrialisation. I’m really interested to see how China’s wild west compares with its more industrial and densely populated eastern region.”

Ash Dykes

“The expedition hasn’t been straightforward but it’s been an incredible experience so far, and I’m really looking forward to seeing and learning even more about this amazing country as I enter into the second half of the mission. Bring it on!”

We are delighted to hear that Ash has already completed half of his most ambitious expedition to date and is continuing to make excellent progress. We can’t wait to hear what happens on the rest of his mission and look forward to providing updates throughout. Make sure you keep up to date from Ash himself on his social media channels and pinpoint where he is along the Yangtze on his live tracker.

Water-to-Go Teams Up With Jordan Wylie

We are delighted to announce that former soldier, best selling author and extreme adventurer Jordan Wylie has joined us as an ambassador for 2019. It is a privilege to working with someone of Jordan’s calibre and influence so we are excited for what the future holds. Described by Sir Ranulph Fiennes as “a determined, fearless adventurer and an inspiring man”, it is clear that he has had a life packed full of travel, adventure and personal challenges to get him to the top of his game.

Jordan recently returned from an expedition called ‘Running Dangerously’ which saw him run through 3 of the most dangerous countries in the world for charity using a Water-to-Go bottle throughout his adventure. It was an amazing achievement and now he has a new challenge in store.

It is clear that Water-to-Go has been an important part of his expeditions and is essential kit for wherever he goes. No matter where he is in the world, Jordan has the security in knowing that our unique filter will eliminate any harmful contaminants providing him with safe, clean drinking water.

 

Water-to-Go has developed a filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source. As an extreme adventurer, I often find myself in environments that are remote and complex and I rely on nature as my main source of rehydration.

Jordan Wylie

 

Jordan now uses his extensive network of contacts and wealth of experience to help educate, inspire and motivate others worldwide. Jordan is a regular in the worlds media having featured on HBO America, Discovery Channel, Vice, BBC, Sky News, in the Wall Street Journal and The Times newspaper. Jordan is also one of the stars of Channel 4’s Hunted and Celebrity Hunted which will be back on our screens in early 2019.

It is a very exciting time for Jordan so we are pleased to be working with him and supporting him on his journey. Furthermore, it is great to see that we have similar values and missions in protecting the planet and becoming more sustainable.

The Water-to-Go filtration bottle is a must have for any adventurer or traveller that often finds themselves exploring off the beaten track. I am delighted to be working with Water-to-Go and to be able to drink water where you are certain of the quality by filtering it yourself, help reduce plastic waste and have a better impact on the environment is fundamental to long term sustainability on this planet.

Jordan Wylie

 

It is fantastic to hear that Jordan has been using Water-to-Go to keep him safe and hydrated on his adventures over the years and is now joining us on our journey.

Jordan is very good friends with another Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, and it seems like they both have something in common – they both like pushing themselves to the limit and attempting world-first expeditions!

Jordan’s next challenge will see him undertake a world-first that will test him to the limit once again. He is now preparing to become the first person to row the world’s most dangerous strait of water, completely solo and unsupported, in an expedition titled, ‘Rowing Dangerously’. See what this incredible expedition entails in the video below.

 

Jordan who raised over £100,000 for charitable and good causes in 2018 will be heading towards more danger next year when he heads to the Gulf of Aden in world first rowing attempt to cross the Bab-El-Mandeb Straits. Jordan hopes to raise £250,000 to build a new school in Djibouti for Somali and Yemen child refuges so they can continue education. To learn more about Jordan or his charity adventures, visit www.jordanwylie.org

Water-to-Go meets Malaria No More UK ambassadors at World Malaria Report

On Tuesday 20th November 2018, Water-to-Go was delighted to be invited to the House of Lords in London to hear about the World Malaria Report in association with our new partners, Malaria No More UK.

Every year, the World Health Organisation releases its annual World Malaria Report and it’s a critical moment for Malaria No More UK and their partners to check in on their strategies and ensure we are moving in the right direction in defeating malaria. Water-to-Go are pleased to be one of these strategies in raising funds and awareness to tackle malaria with our new project.

This year’s report is a story of progress and peril that builds on what we have known for some time. The knowledge that the world was at a critical junction, where stalled progress and funding risked us losing all the hard-fought gains of the last decade, whilst investment and innovation could accelerate us to the end of one of the deadliest diseases of all time, was the urgent message that led to 53 countries sharing a promise to halve malaria by 2023. Seven months on from the Malaria Summit and this years’ data offers us great hope. India appears to be at a turning point, and more countries than ever before are on track to eliminate.  But alongside this hope, the threat remains high with alarming signs of cases increasing in some of the hardest hit countries, and the looming threats of resistance and the parasite adaptation.

The Commonwealth Commitment is needed more than ever. Their new five-year strategy is laser focused on ensuring that the promise to halve malaria in five years, will be more than positive words, but delivered, including a summit in Kigali, Rwanda in 2020 – the catalyst to bring the malaria fight to the heart of Africa and to put it back on track to ending malaria in our lifetimes.

Malaria is the world’s oldest and deadliest disease and more has to be done to tackle it. Around since the dinosaurs, malaria is thought to have killed up to half of all humankind. But today the disease still kills a child every two minutes, despite being entirely preventable (using bed nets, insecticide spraying and antimalarial drugs) and treatable (costing less than £1 to save a life). It still kills almost half a million people every year.

Malaria No More UK Leadership Council Member, David Beckham, stepped into a box with thousands of mosquitos to call for bold action against malaria. This video was developed by Ridley Scott’s production team for the Malaria Must Die, so Millions Can Live campaign which culminated in the Malaria Summit London, in April 2018, where all 53 Commonwealth nations pledged to halve cases and deaths of the disease by 2023.

Water-to-Go is working with Malaria No More UK to help raise funds and awareness to tackle the world’s oldest and deadliest disease, malaria. To do this, we are selling limited edition Malaria No More UK bottles on our website that are available to purchase now. Water-to-Go will donate a minimum of £8.00 + VAT from each bottle sold to Malaria No More UK, in supporting the work that they do.⠀⠀

We have a shared ambition to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere. You can support the partnership by purchasing a limited edition bottle. By buying a limited edition bottle, you will be contributing to our partnership and helping make malaria no more. Together we can be the generation that beats malaria.⠀

It was also great to meet broadcaster and journalist, Charie Webster, at the event who also joined the panel to give more insight into malaria and how it is being tackled. Charlie suffered with a rare form of malaria back in 2016 and has been raising awareness ever since she recovered. In this video, the Malaria No More UK ambassador visited Uganda to take on the disease that nearly took her life.

Another esteemed panel member was Yamina Karitanyi, the High Commissioner of Rwanda, who highlighted what Rwanda is doing to combat the disease and reflected on the success they have had in doing so. This year, there has been 436,000 less reported cases of malaria from the previous year which is fantastic progress. They are leading the way in Africa in tackling malaria and they are working hard to continue the good work.

Lots of great work has been done over the last 10 years but this report has highlighted that depsite this, more has to be done to get rid of malaria for good. Water-to-Go has just partnered with Malaria No More UK to help them achieve this and raise funds for the life-changing work they do.

The Secret CEO is a ruthless tycoon who peddles a cruel disease that takes the life of a child every two minutes. In the 21st Century, no child should die from a mosquito bite. By supporting Malaria No More UK you are helping to put him out of business and save lives. Malaria must die, so that millions can live. You can help with this and get involved with the campaign to tackle malaria.

Water-to-Go at World Travel Market London 2018

For the second year running, Water-to-Go exhibited at the World Travel Market (WTM) in the London Excel. WTM is one of the biggest travel markets in the world and connect the world’s travel providers with remarkable insight and opportunity. World Travel Market London unlocks the ideas that will shape the world’s dreams and plans for travel over the next five years. One of these plans is to become more responsible and sustainable so this where we believe Water-to-Go can help and can revolutionise the travel industry.

Located in the Africa section, our stand was complete with a range of sample products as well as a demonstration of our product. Hopefully, you were lucky enough to catch the product demonstration, however if not you can see it on our website under the ‘How it works’ section.

We started the exhibition by winning the #IdeasArriveHere competition giving us extra exposure at the exhibition and an interview with WTM which can be viewed on their Day 1 blog. As well as appearing on WTM’s blog, Water-to-Go founder, Dave Shanks, also took part in a television interview for the BBC organised by Jo Hendrix from Travel Without Plastic.

 

 

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Throughout the three days we met with a variety of people on our stand and whether it was discussing corporate partnerships, talking to bloggers interested in our products, or catching up with our current ambassadors, we are thankful to everyone who took the time to visit our stand. We hope that WTM 2018 can be the start of a number of new partnerships for our business.

Incredible Oceans protecting against Plastic Pollution in our Oceans

We once again teamed up with Incredible Oceans, sharing a stand in the Africa section of the exhibition, hoping to increase awareness surrounding issues regarding plastic pollution in our oceans.

Incredible Oceans are a charity that aims to protect the world’s oceans from the many threats that they are faced with such as; climate change, overfishing and plastic pollution.

Using the power of culture, science and charismatic marine life, Incredible Oceans aims to increase the public’s awareness surrounding these issues. They are able to do this by partnering with scientists, companies, broadcast media and campaigners to provide events and education to help the public become more ocean literate.

We partnered with Incredible Oceans to help provide our own solution to the issue of plastic pollution, aiming to lower the world’s usage of single-use plastic bottles. Currently, over 1 million plastic bottles are bought worldwide every minute. Water-to-Go is the perfect alternative to single-use plastic water bottles and should be the last bottle you ever need to buy.

Just 1 of our 75cl filters would replace over 400 single-use plastic bottles. This is a very simple change that everyone can make in their life. Just think of the difference this could make. We believe that the travel industry has to lead the way on the fight against plastic pollution so are reaching out to like-minded travel companies who share our values and goals.

Water-to-Go working in partnership with Just a Drop

As well as having our own stand at the show, this year we also partnered with Just A Drop, WTM’s nominated charity for 2018. We are delighted to be working in partnership with them and this collaboration built further interest in Water-to-Go at the show.

Just A Drop have been celebrating their 20th anniversary this year having been launched by founder Fiona Jeffrey at the World Travel Market in 1998.

The charity aims to provide safe water across the world and are proud to have now reached in excess of 1.5 million people with safe drinking water, having completed projects in 32 different countries.

To mark the partnership, Water-to-Go produced limited edition Just a Drop bottles that were sold exclusively at WTM 2018, the proceeds of which went directly towards the charity and their safe water projects.

Through a combination of both bottle sales and donations, Just A Drop raised the fantastic amount of over £2,500 across the three days of WTM which was a fantastic achievement. We were pleased to work with them for World Travel Market and are looking forward to working with them further.

Overall, we had a very successful time at the World Travel Market and enjoyed meeting everyone at the show. We were delighted to be working with our partners Incredible Oceans and Just a Drop at the show and thank them for their support. WTM has provided Water-to-Go with fantastic opportunities that we are can’t wait to develop and explore in 2019. We hope to be back at the show next year again to continue our relationships with current partners and to try to develop new partnerships with prospective partners.

Water-to-Go are working with Traveleyes

Travelling around the world and experiencing different cultures is one of life’s glorious gifts. These adventures, unfortunately, do come at a cost to the planet. In an aim to return the favour, and to thank the planet for giving us natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, The Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon Rain Forest, we have partnered with Traveleyes.

It is not often we get approached by a company as unique as Traveleyes. So when Traveleyes got in touch and asked about working together to help make an environmental impact for the good, we were definitely intrigued.

Traveleyes are a world unique travel company. They pair sighted and visually impaired travellers together on amazing adventures all over the world. The sighted travellers share their sight, guide and describe the world for those with visual impairments. With over 15 years’ experience and travelling to over 60 destinations, Traveleyes offer a chance to see the world differently. 

The company have taken blind and sighted travellers across Mongolia, sailed yachts around the Greek islands, hiked the Camino De Santiago and tandem-cycled the length of Holland – all in the name of sharing the adventure!

 

Water-to-Go have partnered with Traveleyes to encourage more people who travel to not purchase single-use plastic water bottles and to provide a sustainable solution. Our 3-in-1 filter system can eliminate all microbiological contaminants to well in excess of 99.9%. This means you are never far away from drinkable water and by refilling one of our bottles you are making a huge environmental impact.

Only 1 in 5 plastic bottles are recycled and bottled water cost over 1000 times more than tap water. When Travelling we think it’s convenient to buy bottled water from the shop but that one bottle took 3 times the amount water to produce than it does to fill it.

Water-to-Go is committed to reducing the damage to the environment caused by the amount of single-use plastic bottles. Plastic water bottles can take between 400 and 1000 years to decompose and many end up polluting our rivers and oceans. It is essential we all do our bit to protect the planet and cut down on our plastic usage. A very easy way is to use a Water-to-Go bottle; just one of our 75cl filters is the equivalent of 400 single-use plastic bottles. Just think of the difference that could make.

Through our partnership with Traveleyes, we are offering 15% off Water-to-Go bottles and from each bottle sold, a percentage will be donated to Sightsavers, a charity which Traveleyes have supported for many years. Sightsavers work with organisations in third world countries to help reduce preventable blindness.

Head over to the Traveleyes partner page and help make a difference.

Water-to-Go are working with Malaria No More UK to help tackle malaria

Water-to-Go are delighted to be working with Malaria No More UK, an awesome charity working to eliminate the world’s oldest and deadliest disease. Together, we are raising vital awareness and funds for the charity’s work to save lives.

Water-to-Go and Malaria No More UK are passionate about improving world health and making the world a better place. This is a hugely exciting project for everyone involved and we want you to join us. Read on to find out why we need your help and support.

Water-to-Go have produced a special edition bottle that helps tackle malaria. We will donate £8 + VAT from every special bottle sold towards Malaria No More UK’s work in fighting this global killer. With every purchase of a limited edition bottle, you will be contributing to our project and helping change the world, one bottle at a time.

Special edition Malaria No More UK filter bottle from Water-to-Go. at least £8 + VAT from each bottle sold will go directly to Malaria No More UK and the work they do in fighting malaria.

 

Who are Malaria No More UK?

Malaria No More UK is helping lead the charge against malaria, and exists to catalyse and inspire the global partnerships, leadership and financing necessary to achieve a 90% reduction in malaria by 2030, save 10 million lives, and put us on track to make malaria no more. If efforts are maintained, we could be the generation to end malaria for good. They influence decision-makers, from governments to international bodies and leading corporations; collaborate with and support partners large and small; and raise awareness about their fight and what we can do about it.

WE HAVE A SHARED AMBITION TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE

Water-to-Go’s mission is to protect those at risk from unsafe water supplies by offering access to safe, healthy water anywhere in the world. This is achieved by providing a unique 3-in-1 technology portable filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source.

Malaria No More UK’s mission is to see an end to the world’s oldest and deadliest disease, that would save the lives of millions. Around since the dinosaurs, malaria is thought to have killed up to half of all humankind. But today the disease still kills a child every two minutes, despite being entirely preventable (using bed nets, insecticide spraying and antimalarial drugs) and treatable (costing less than £1 to save a life). It still kills almost half a million people every year. Global progress against the disease – which saw 7 million lives saved and deaths reduced by 60% is under threat due to stalled funding and a decline in political attention.

We are partnering with Malaria No More UK to end this deadly disease once and for all. In the 21st Century, no child should die from a mosquito bite.

By buying a limited edition bottle, you will be contributing to our project and helping to eliminate malaria so millions can live. Your support will help change people’s lives and by working together we have the chance to be the generation that ends malaria.

L-R Joanita, Putelesi, Ignacious, Musaline. Children at the home of Joseph and Tina Gariseb pose for photos under their new net. Malaria Agents with Nets for Life distributing mosquito nets in the New Location in Tsumeb, Northern Namibia. November 16th 2010.
Picture by Zute Lightfoot www.lightfootphoto.com

Thank you in advance for your support.

Support the movement to treat Kilimanjaro Porters fairly with Water-to-Go

Water-to-Go have teamed up with Three Peaks Africa; a responsible travel business that offers expeditions to Tanzania’s highest peaks; Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and Mount Longido. This is the ultimate adventure challenge brought to you deep from the African Savannah and is a significant milestone on many bucket lists. Three Peaks Africa are currently working on a new crowdfunding project for a real cause that is close to their hearts. They are seeking help and support from many different partners and sponsors so we wanted to raise awareness about this great cause.

On average over 35,000 travellers a year climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. For many, it’s a once in a lifetime experience where they spend months, even years saving, researching the right kit and training for the opportunity to reach the roof of Africa. Once they are back down and at home, they will smile and remember their friends, motivators and biggest supporters on the mountain, the Kilimanjaro porters.  As many of you may know, it takes a whole host of porters and other mountain crew to support the climbing team. The porters carry all of the team’s food, equipment, set up the camps, sing and keep everyone motivated and safe.

In the excitement of preparing and being on the trip, we can sometimes forget that not everyone on the mountain is always as fortunate as us when it comes to health and safety and workers’ rights. In 2018 it is still estimated that 3 out of 4 porters may be paid less than a proper wage, not being fed 3 meals a day and sleeping in inadequate quarters. Based on minimum wage and tipping amounts, on a typical 6 day Kilimanjaro climb, a porter could expect to be paid the equivalent of US $1,090 a year.  That’s just £825 to support their entire family. As a result, there is sometimes huge pressure for them to accept work at less than minimum wage and sub-standard working conditions; just so that they can earn some sort of living.

Three Peaks Africa are committed to supporting ethical and responsible travel initiatives, partnering only with local operators and companies who align with them ethically in ensuring that their practices have a tangible benefit to the local community, economy and environment.

The Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) is a not-for-profit based in Tanzania. It is a tiny organisation working on a limited budget that has been working hard to improve porters working standards, and raise awareness to travellers about responsible travel choices.  Their work on the ground has already impacted over 7,000 porters, however there is still a long way to go. Marie Cheng, founder of responsible travel business for Three Peaks Africa, began working closely with KPAP when sourcing local Tanzanian climbing companies to operate her Three Peaks expeditions. She says,

“It was really important to me to run my Three Peaks trips with a responsible and ethical provider. The porters do so much for us, it is only right that they should be treated properly on the mountain”.

Marie Cheng, Founder of responsible travel business at Three Peaks Africa

Three Peaks Africa are now crowdfunding for the Kilimanjaro Porters, to increase the essential funding for KPAP and to increase the awareness of what they are doing to improve porters working standards. The money raised will be spent on the “Clothes Lending Programme” allowing all porters to borrow mountain gear, free of charge as well as on monitoring activities for the “Partner for Responsible Travel Programme” that determines if climbing companies are meeting proper porter treatment standards.  Funding will also go to help reinstate training programmes such as First Aid and Leave No Trace environmental sustainability that will benefit 175 porters.

Porters are Tanzanians who work freelance and often depend on tourism on the mountain for their livelihood.  We have an overwhelming collective responsibility to make sure that they aren’t being exploited.

Three Peaks Africa support this by ensuring that they partner only with local operators in Tanzania who are partners with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), a Tanzanian not-for-profit organisation who monitor the treatment of porters by sending staff on climbs, conducting porter interviews and meeting regularly with operators to review their treatment practices.  As well as ensuring that operators adhere to the good porter treatment guidelines, KPAP also focus on improving working conditions for porters through a number of initiatives.

Ezekiel, a porter with a KPAP company says “KPAP and the partner companies have worked together to drive improvements in working conditions for us.  It has really helped me and my family. I can now take my kids to school as I was able to save money because I am paid properly”.

To support Three Peaks Africa, KPAP and their commitment to making a big change to the treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro, visit their page and pledge before the 9 August: http://chuffed.org/project/kilimanjaroporters

Any donations of £100 or more also goes into a prize draw to win the opportunity to climb Kilimanjaro in 2019.

With a big focus on responsible travel, Three Peaks Africa are actively encouraging and highlighting the collective responsibility that we as travellers have on local communities and the environment. Water-to-Go are pleased to be working with responsible and sustainable tourism organisations such as Three Peaks Africa who are working to protect the environment and to change lives. By highlighting to their clients the impact that single-use plastic water bottles have on the environment, they hope to do their bit in helping to reduce plastic waste.

Keeping hydrated on the mountain is even more essential for these avid trekkers and it is important that the expedition team has access to clean and safe drinking water.  Using the Water-to-Go filtration system, this eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants, including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source.

By helping Three Peaks Africa to reduce plastic waste with Water-to-Go bottles, Water-to-Go will also support Three Peaks Africa in their crowdfunding campaign.