Walk for Water teaches a valuable lesson

31 March 2022

Carrying water containers filled from the River Cong, 60 students began one of the most educational walks of their lives.

Walk for Water, an annual event celebrating the value of fresh water in our lives, proved to be an eye opener for students at Presentation Colleges in Headford and Tuam and Gort Community School last week. 

Irish Water and Green-Schools teamed up to raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people around the world living without access to safe drinking water and hosted walks across the country, including one in Cong Woods on the Mayo/Galway border.

With a heavy bag on her back and flanked by students carrying water in recycled milk cartons Colette Flanagan, a Geography teacher at Presentation College Headford was one of those who completed the trek through Cong Woods.

It was such an educational event. On the bus home the students said they found the walk tiring and I just reminded them that in some countries people have to walk much longer, maybe twice a day in scorching heat for water. We had a leisurely walk with a stop to enjoy treats.

The walk reminded us all of the importance of access to clean water and how we should be working together to protect and conserve such a precious resource in this country.

Irish Water’s Business Stakeholder and Communications Co-ordinator for the North West Region, Marian Duggan shared some water conserving tips with students on the walk.

Helping the next generation to understand that the importance of conserving water is a key part of our role in safeguarding Ireland’s water supply, so we are delighted to be partnering with An Taisce's Green-Schools Water Theme again this year. The Walk for Water is a creative way for the students to understand that clean water is a precious resource and that we all need to take action to conserve it.” 

Green-Schools Officer Robert Nelson proved to be a mine of information, not only on water conservation and sustainability but also our beautiful surroundings. Pointing out caves, various trees, and recounting Cong tales of yesteryear made the walk all the more enjoyable.

Each year we can see the difference the experience makes for the attending students; they go home with a greater awareness of what water scarcity is, how important conservation and sustainable development has become and, of course, with a greater appreciation for the beautiful surrounds of places like Cong Woods.