Water access for bushfire-impacted residents in rural Victoria
A heart-warming collaboration is giving recovering families reliable access to water
One year on from the Black Summer Bushfires, bushfire-affected residents in Victoria are receiving a big helping hand in their recovery. GIVIT often plays a part in assisting people to obtain water access after natural disasters. This time around, thanks to generous donations coordinated by GIVIT and a collaboration dubbed 'Mission Rainwater,' properties are once again being hooked up to household water.
The project, started by Tradies for Fire Affected Communities (TTFAC) has delivered and installed crucial water tanks in the Upper Murray and East Gippsland areas. Funding and coordination have come courtesy of GIVIT's Victoria Bushfires Appeal in addition to several other funding sources.
GIVIT Engagement Officer, Lisa Herbert, said people's reactions to receiving a water tank had been extremely humbling, and demonstrated the challenges facing rural communities in accessing clean water.
"Some people rely on creek water for their home. But, after the bushfires and subsequent heavy
rain, those creeks were contaminated with debris and ash, meaning they didn’t have enough clean
water to even brush their teeth,” said Ms Herbert.
“Many were driving long distances to the nearest town regularly to fill containers of water, while
others set up make-do catchments with tarps and wading pools to catch rain.
“One recipient at Clifton Creek said her tank has ‘made all the difference to her world’. She no longer
has to lug heavy water containers, and now has the ability to have a decent shower.
TTFAC representative, Dwayne Heath, said their teams of local plumbers are amazed by the impact
each water tank has on residents who are enduring an extremely tough year.
GIVIT Victorian Manager, Solange Ardiles, said the charity’s key focus is to continue to engage their
network of donors to ensure no resident or bushfire-affected community is forgotten.
“From Corryong to Buchan, Wangarabell to Mallacoota and the dozens of bushfire-affected
communities across eastern Victoria, donations from generous Australians and businesses have
allowed GIVIT to provide exactly what’s needed by struggling communities,” said Ms Ardiles.
Helping refugee families start the school year on the front foot
Smiggle has donated hundreds of back to school items to West Welcome Wagon, a Melbourne-based not-for-profit that supports asylum seekers and refugees in Melbourne's western suburbs.