WATER WARRIORS: The loving nickname given to those donating water to the Granite Belt region.
WATER WARRIORS: The loving nickname given to those donating water to the Granite Belt region. Rotary Australia

Mum starts program connecting region to givers across state

WHEN Gold Coast mother Sharyn Watson heard parents were having to stop their kids playing sports because they didn't have the water to wash uniforms, she knew she had to do something to help.

Part of the Hope Island Rotary Club, Ms Watson said until District Governor and Tenterfield resident Harry Bolton came to talk about how widespread the drought was, her and many other members were unaware there was even a crisis.

"He was saying how long it had been going on for and how it was starting to affect young kids and so many people from our side of the range just didn't really know,” Ms Watson said.

It was soon after she decided to launch Water for the West, a program connecting those in the Southern Downs with water donations from across the state.

Despite only creating the initiative two weeks ago, the Facebook page has already blown up with over 2000 follows and offers spanning across Queensland.

"It's been amazing, through the Rotary club, I've been involved in lots of different projects but everyone can resonate with this, everyone needs water,” Ms Watson said.

"Out of all the community projects, this one feels the most desperate and it's amazing to be able to help.”

The project has been also accepted with open arms in the region, with Ballendean Estate Wines owner Angelo Puglisi even offering his warehouse to store donations. Ms Watson said the thanks and stories she heard were proof more was needed to get the word out about the appalling conditions.

"In a country like Australia, it's really shocking and graphic and anyone in the city who can help should help,” she said.

"When I came out last weekend, there was a lady in Stanthorpe helping distribute to a man who had no water of any kind for four weeks, and she said we thought nobody cared.

"I said, 'We absolutely care, we just didn't know'.”

Those wanting to receive donations should contact the Tenterfield rotary club, orfollow the Facebook page, Water for the West.



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