River canoe challenge for Rotary charity

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Pontefract Rotary Club members are helping to raise money for a charity that helps disaster-hit areas across the world.

The club, along with others across the north, is supporting the scheme that buys ‘aqua boxes’ which contain a filter that turns contaminated water into a safe, drinkable state.

Pontefract Rotarians sponsored Robin Naylor in his marathon attempt to canoe the length of the River Aire to raise money to buy the boxes.

He started his journey at Malham Tarn on September 16 and ended it five days later at the Humber Bridge, making several fund raising stops on his journey.

At Ferrybridge he was met by members of Pontefract Rotary Club who toasted his success by drinking water from the River Aire – treated and purified through an aqua box.

Philip Gordon, from Pontefract Rotary Club, said: “The River Aire is not known for cleanliness but in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the boxes, during his journey Robin drank only river water which had been treated by the water purifier supplied in an aqua box.

“The project is expected to raise in the region of £10,000 for aqua boxes, which will give much needed help to people affected by typhoons and other disasters where water supplies have been contaminated.

“The purified water drastically reduces the risk of disease and dehydration thereby saving the lives of many children and adults all over the world.”

Colin Allen, Pontefract club president, said: “Drinking water from the River Aire may not be everybody’s cup of tea as it had more of a bitter taste.”

Each aqua box costs £250 and contains a water filter with sufficient capacity to supply 500 people with water for over a year.

The box becomes a water container and the pump purifies the water as it is dispensed.