Exmouth woman taking on 'ridiculously tough' Kilimanjaro climb for WaterAid

PUBLISHED: 12:28 20 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:28 20 March 2018

In 2015 Michelle Gaskell spent time with a community in Uganda to see the work carried out by WaterAid. Picture by Michelle Gaskell.

In 2015 Michelle Gaskell spent time with a community in Uganda to see the work carried out by WaterAid. Picture by Michelle Gaskell.

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Bringing clean water to impoverished communities is motivating one Exmouth woman to take on a ‘ridiculously tough’ challenge.

In 2015 Michelle Gaskell spent time with a community in Uganda to see the work carried out by WaterAid. Picture by Michelle Gaskell.In 2015 Michelle Gaskell spent time with a community in Uganda to see the work carried out by WaterAid. Picture by Michelle Gaskell.

Michelle Gaskell, from Exmouth, and her colleague Inma Otero, are currently in training to climb Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, ascending 5,895-metres in just 10 days.

Their daring expedition is to take place between August 24 and September 3.

Both are employees at South West Water Laboratories, which is supporting Water Aid as its chosen charity throughout 2018.

In 2015 Michelle Gaskell spent time with a community in Uganda to see the work carried out by WaterAid. Picture by Michelle Gaskell.In 2015 Michelle Gaskell spent time with a community in Uganda to see the work carried out by WaterAid. Picture by Michelle Gaskell.

Michelle said: “I think with recent events and people running out of water, it has highlighted how important water is.

“We take it for granted that we can just turn on a tap, but there is so much poverty going on that we are so far away from.”

Having travelled to Uganda twice with Water Aid Michelle has witnessed first-hand the difference the charity’s work can make to communities.

“It gives people a life; they don’t only provide water but also education, for example, they don’t realise if they drink water from a dirty puddle it can make them ill.

“There is communities in which there maybe water, but it’s not safe, and they have to give it to their children.

“I stayed in a community who were completely uneducated – they took water from a puddle and used it for the meal, but they had a bore hole about five miles away.”

The intrepid team of two are very aware of the feat which lies ahead, describing it on their JustGiving page as ‘ridiculously tough, a challenge of a life time’.

But Michelle and Inma are determined to raise £10,000 towards South West Water’s £100,000 fundraising target for 2018.

Bake sales, a football tournament and a fundraising head-shave are also set to take place over the coming months to raise money towards their target.

They still have some way to go to achieve this target, with the current figure standing at £1,005.00.

Michelle and Inma have said all money raised will go towards ‘providing basic human rights: clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene, which will save lives’.

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