One of the most piercing memories of my trip to Niger earlier this year was seeing gatherings of women and children disappearing into the deep holes they were digging in the dried up river bed, just to get a drink.
You don't forget that and every time I turn on a tap I'm grateful for my geography.
Because it is just geography.
It's easy to forget how lucky we are to be living here in the western world, where we don't have to walk for hours each day just to be able to drink a bowl of dirty water that we've spent hours digging for. Or to be kept awake each night by the haunting cries of our starving children as their life force ebbs away day by day.
Having seen the third world with my own eyes makes projects like Water Aid's Big Dig have really come to life for me.
All this week the campaign will be following 17 year old Howard who lives in rural Bokola in Malawi and documenting how his life is transformed as a borehole is dug in his village. And this is truly life changing as he will have easy access to fresh, safe, clean water for the very first time in his life.
Like the women I met in Niger, Howard treks to the river twice everyday to collect water for his family. It's a long journey and water is heavy, even heavier when you are walking through blistering heat and have little or no food rattling around in your empty belly.
“I spend hours going to fetch water and I could be using that time for preparation for my studies,” he says. “Even when I pick up my exercise books to read I don’t have much concentration.”
The hours Howard spends collecting water means that he has little time for study and he is missing out on the precious education that he needs. Thanks to Water Aid's Big Dig Appeal, Howard's life is about to change.
We take sanitation and clean, drinking water for granted and having visited projects in Bangladesh and Niger I can tell you that even the most basic intervention from charities like Water Aid is essential.
The Big Dig aims to make a difference to the lives of 134,000 people in Malawi and they really need your help.
You can follow the project through Water Aid's innovative use of Instagram and see for yourself how Howard's life is transformed. You can also donate to The Big Dig Campaign, every donation, no matter how small it may seem to you really does help. All donations received by 18th September will be matched pound for pound from the UK governments aid budget, so even more people's lives can be changed.
The Big Dig Appeal will allow Water Aid to dig 34 new boreholes, 43 shallow wells, train 2160 hygiene educators and build 20,500 latrines in schools and homes. That's a lot of lives changed.