Grandfather Jim's walking the wall for water

The Advertiser Series: Jim O'Connor in Tanzania Jim O'Connor in Tanzania

A GRANDFATHER who has raised more than £300,000 to help bring clean water and sanitation to rural Africa is fundraising once again.

Jim O’Connor, from Esh, near Durham, started the Dorothy’s Well project in memory of his wife Dorothy, who died of breast cancer aged 56 in 2006.

Since then, Mr O’Connor has raised more than £300,000 – sinking eight deep water wells and building four 12-bay blocks of latrines in Tanzania, east Africa, thereby bringing clean drinking water to more than 5,000 school children and 23,000 local people.

Six of the wells use solar power to pump clean water up from underground.

Now Mr O’Connor is planning to hike the 85.5-mile Hadrian’s Wall route in Northumberland in aid of the cause.

He will begin his Walking The Wall For Water challenge at Bowness-on-Solway, Cumbria, on Thursday, September 4, and hopes to finish at Wallsend, North Tyneside, six days later.

He hopes to raise another £50,000 to sink another two wells.

“Every 20 seconds a child dies in Africa through water-related diseases and the lack of adequate sanitation facilities and every £10 donated saves the life of a child," he said.

“I wanted to ensure that all money raised was used for the purpose it was intended and to achieve this I established the Dorothy’s Well charity where I can guarantee that 100 per cent of every penny raised is spent directly on providing the wells and sanitation.

“All expenses and administration costs are paid for by the committee."

To support the cause, visit dorothyswell.org or send donations to: Rose Cottage, Front Street, Esh, DH7 9QS.

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