In the week that it's been revealed that Coca-Cola's latest designer drink Dasani is sourced from English tap water, the Catholic Aid Agency CAFOD is highlighting the fact that over a billion people in the world have no safe drinking water at all. CAFOD is today asking shoppers in a London supermarket (ASDA, in Lavender Hill, Clapham Junction from 10-12) to take the CAFOD challenge and see if they can tell the difference between tap, bottled and untreated water. Martha Clarke, CAFOD's Head of Media, said: "We just want to raise people,s awareness of the fact that so many people live without access to clean drinkable water never mind bottled water. In the UK consumers spend over a billion pounds a year on bottled water compared to the 72 million pounds that the UK Government spend on water projects in the developing world. In addition the average bottle of water costs 60p, which is more than many people in the world have to live on each day. "I find these statistics staggering. I appreciate that UK consumers have every right to spend their money on bottled water but it is ironic when over two million children die each year from drinking dirty water." "Today is CAFOD's Lent Fast Day when we ask supporters to give up something and donate their money to CAFOD. If every person in the UK gave up their bottled water today and gave us their money we could provide clean water to over 5,000 villages in Africa". Access to clean water is one of the main Millennium Development Goals - a set of targets agreed by the UK Government and the rest of the international community. One goal is to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water but at current rates of progress in sub-Saharan Africa this won,t be reached until 2050. CAFOD spends around a quarter of a million pounds a year on water projects, which are an integral part of its work in rural areas. CAFOD works with partners all around the world helping them to build wells, and boreholes and dams.
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