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The tap is running in the UK as drought is declared in parts of England

Over half (52%) of women in the UK admit to ever leaving the tap running when they brush their teeth, wash up, or running the dishwasher without it being full, a new survey commissioned by poverty fighting charity CARE International has found.

On the same day that drought is declared in parts of England research has found that 41% of women in the UK ever leave the tap on while brushing their teeth which can result in the loss of 6 litres a minute –  over  a quarter of the amount that a woman in Africa has to walk to collect on a daily basis.

CARE carried out the research to highlight the difference between women in the UK and women in the developing world who typically have to walk for 6 km a day carrying 20 litres of water weighing approximate 20kg.

Sarah Taylor Peace, from CARE International, says: “We are fortunate to have running water in our homes, places of work and take for granted the fact that it is always available. For many people in the developing world this isn’t the case. We want women here to show they care by walking 10,000 steps a day for a week – this is a small gesture of solidarity with women across the world, but one that could make an enormous difference to the lives of women living in poverty.”

CARE International is encouraging women to sign up to Walk In Her Shoes, a challenge to walk 10,000 steps every day for a week to raise funds to support CARE projects that are helping communities to overcome poverty. Participants will help women and girls access new life-changing opportunities as they will have more time for school, earning an income or participating in community life.

“By taking part and raising £100, each participant could help CARE to build or repair a water pump close to a poor community.

Community pumps save women and girls a gruelling daily walk to collect water; they also save the lives of children who needlessly die each year from diseases associated with unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene,” says Taylor Peace.

The challenge is supported by Co-operative membership in the South East as part of their commitment to tackle global poverty.

CARE will support each participant in their week-long challenge, including offering advice on fundraising and tips to fit more exercise into each day. The charity will also provide a pedometer so they can track their steps.

To join Walk In Her Shoes, visit call 0207 091 6111 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Notes to Editor:

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2091 adults, of which 1085 were female. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th - 9th January 2011.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

Regional percentages of women who admit to leaving the tap running when they brush their teeth, wash up, or running the dishwasher without it being full are as follows:

North East:52%, North West:56%, Yorkshire and the Humber:49%, East Midlands:53%, West Midlands:45%, East of England:46%, London:52%, South East:52%, South West:45%, Wales:53% and Scotland: 60%


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