Molly Crookshank: Water-to-Go kept me safe in the Amazon

Hello there, my name is Molly Crookshank and I am an Animal Biologist living in Edinburgh with a strong passion for wildlife and conservation. This summer I spent time in Guyana and Ecuador assisting scientific research in the rainforest at the Iwokrama reserve and Timburi Cocha Research Station. Travelling with my Water-to-Go bottle I was able to experience these fascinating places without any risk of illness from drinking water. It also meant I bought less plastic bottles on my journey. 

I completed my final research project for my undergraduate degree in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. This was an unforgettable experience and what made me so determined to completed my degree. Unfortunately due to the water quality I was frequently unwell, which affected my fitness out on survey. I was therefore delighted to have Water-to-Go sponsor me a bottle for my jungle adventure this summer 2018 and felt totally prepared for what was to come.

“Water-to-Go have successfully specialised in making filtration bottles to eliminate 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source. This was ideal as it meant I could drink straight from the Amazon River.”

Molly Crookshank

 

Operation Wallacea Research Project in Guyana

My journey started in Guyana, one of the most intact rainforests in the world. This was with Operation Wallacea, a conservation and research organisation. Research was carried out in Iwokrama reserve, the green heart of Guyana.

Monitoring the biodiversity is vital in order to see how their sustainable logging is affecting the forest. Surveys are carried out daily and in the intense heat and humidity, keeping hydrated was essential.

Living in the forest was incredible, we slept in hammocks, had bucket showers and had basic structures made by the locals where we had our jungle laboratory.

In this remote environment living so close to people, it is easy to get sick. In fact nearly half the scientist became ill with a parasite from drinking the water and prevented them going out on survey. However, I was able to stay fit and healthy throughout the entire time on expedition, for which I am very grateful to Water-to-Go.

Getting to know the locals in Guyana was a true highlight and re-emphasised the importance of local engagement to conservation. Their own commitment to their environment is incredibly strong and their expert knowledge of their surroundings is invaluable.

Jungle Journey Continued: Exploring Ecuador

After the most incredible month spent in Guyana, I continued my jungle journey to the Amazon in Ecuador to assist a PhD student at Timburi Cocha Research Station adjacent to the Payamino River.

This was such an amazing experience and I got to see how the local communities are using and benefiting from their rainforest. Coffee and cocoa are the main crops produced in this region.

For the PhD we dissected bromeliads from the amazon rainforest, at different heights of trees and collected the invertebrates. This was great fun to test my invertebrate taxonomy and luckily it didn’t take long for me to get used to the creepy crawlies. I have always been fascinated by ants as they are amazing ecosystem engineers and have colonised on nearly every continent!

One of the highlights was walking up Armadillo Hill to get a spectacular view over the amazon. Having my Water-to-Go bottle, meant I didn’t have to worry about the source of the water I was drinking from, so I was able to keep hydrated throughout the long hike. 

Having being able to fully embrace every moment of the rainforest without suffering any illness, I was able to get far more out of this trip compared with 2017.   

I was lucky enough to have a week after to travel around Ecuador. With the incredible mountainous terrain and beautiful waterfalls, it didn’t take long to realise how truly amazing this country was.

Having my Water-to-Go bottle I not only cut down on plastic bottles but I also never had to worry about drinking from the tap in the towns and cities.

What adventure is my bottle going to take me on next?

I have recently just started my postgraduate Masters course in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at Edinburgh Napier University.  For my research project, I plan to go to South Africa next June to study in the Gondwana Reserve. Here I will be looking at the effects of herbivore grazing in the Cape Floral Kingdom. With the Water-to-Go replaceable filters, I can now take my bottle and stay hydrated for my data collection in South Africa.

Thank you Water-to-Go!

Water-to-Go in partnership with Oasis Overland

Water-to-Go is excited to announce a new partnership with Oasis Overland. They are an adventure tour company that operate adventure trips from 5 days to 10 months duration in Africa, South America and Asia. Travellers who join them are looking for something a bit different and something off the beaten track.

 

Oasis Overland realise the important role they have to play in ensuring that their trips are run responsibly to maximise the potential benefits to local communities and minimise the negatives. In alignment with their philosophy of responsible tourism, they have decided to partner up with Water-to-Go to ensure that their clients travel responsibly and safely as well as reducing their carbon footprint. Oasis Overland are actively promoting Water-to-Go as essential kit on their tours so that their members have access to safe, clean drinking wherever they are.

 

Water-to-Go is a supporter of Oasis Overland and has supplied Water-to-Go filtration bottles to them, and are proud to extend the association. We are giving their members an exclusive discount on Water-to-Go products and furthermore, Water-to-Go will match that percentage discount as a donation to the charities that they support. Water-to-Go is excited and delighted to support Oasis Overland as a referral partner and its efforts and goals with their charitable projects and hope that together we can make a difference.

 

This partnership will have more far-reaching effects than just to the people who go on their tours. Oasis Overland is committed to working with local operators and service providers and supporting communities with their trade. As such, Water-to-Go will be helping Oasis Overland to support the following projects worldwide:

 

 

Toilet Twinning ~ Travellers on Oasis Overland trips will be aware that they often pass through, and camp in, remote areas where toilet facilities do not exist. 

2.5 billion people across the world don’t have somewhere safe, clean and hygienic to go to the loo. That’s more than a third of the people on the planet. For people in poor communities, a hole in the ground is literally a life saver – protecting women from the risk of attack as they find somewhere private to squat, and shielding children from preventable diarrhoeal diseases.

Oasis Overland have just joined forces with Toilet Twinning to build seven new latrines for communities in Africa. Toilet Twinning raises funds to enable people living in poor communities to have clean water, a decent toilet, and to learn about hygiene – a vital combination that prevents the spread of disease, reduces the number of deaths among children, and brings hope for the future.

 

 

Hupenyu Hutsva Children’s Home in Harare, Zimbabwe –
Oasis Overland have made donations of food, clothing, computers & sports equipment to this home & are involved in ongoing projects. In 2008 we funded the installation of a bore hole to enable the Home to be far more self-sufficient in food production & enabling the children to practise essential horticultural skills. They also paid for gardening tools & seeds.

 

Since 2008, they having been running an event, fondly known by our crew as ‘Kids Week’. Essentially we use our trucks and crew to take all the children out on a day trip and end up with a big party back at the Home. Many of the children rarely leave the compound where they live & the trips have enabled them to see some of the sights their country has to offer. Our last trip was in December 2017, when we took the children to the Imire Game Reserve in our overland trucks, finishing off the event with a big party at the Home-complete with candy floss and Bouncy Castles!  We’re never quite sure who enjoys these trips out the most-the children, staff, or our crew!!!

 

 

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Kenya ~ This trust has played a significant role in the conservation of Kenya’s wildlife and has pioneered strategies to reverse the extinction of the endangered black rhino and provides extensive rehabilitation programs for elephant, and other animal orphans. Projects include de-snaring, mobile veterinary services, animal welfare, water conservation and community outreach. Oasis Overland sponsor an elephant, Kamboyo & three of their trips visit this project.

 

Water-to-Go are delighted to be able to support several charities through our various partners and tour companies. Water-to-Go stands for so much more than just filtering water. We stand for protecting people’s health by giving everyone access to their basic rights of safe, clean drinking water anytime, anywhere; and also protecting the planet by producing an alternative to single-use plastic bottles. We seek to work together with organisations that share our aims and goals and together we can change the world, one bottle, one person at a time.