Live Earth walkathon fights water woes

JUSTIN LATIF
Last updated 05:00 13/04/2010
Walkathon
JUSTIN LATIF
WATER WALK: Four-year-old Haylee, left, and five-year-old Jarome Henry with their grandfather Stephen Henare at the Avondale Racecourse where the Live Earth walkathon will be held on April 18.

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Grandfather of eight Stephen Henare wants to leave a better world for the next generation.

He has organised a walkathon for the Live Earth charity on April 18 at the Avondale racecourse in an effort to do just that.

Live Earth is a non-government organisation set up by climate change campaigner Al Gore to help raise awareness about environmental issues, including chronic water shortages in the developing world.

Mr Henare says his fundraiser will be the only one of its kind in New Zealand and he hopes it becomes a regular nationwide event.

"We looked around and thought why isn't this happening here?" he says. "The money will get used for building wells, water stations and dams."

The event requires participants to run or walk 6km, the average distance women and children have to walk everyday in poorer countries to secure water.

There will be Live Earth gatherings in 150 countries.

Mr Henare says seeing his grandchildren growing up makes him even more passionate about looking after the planet.

"I've always been interested in environmental issues but even more so now," the Glendene resident says. "And just because we feel we're living okay doesn't mean we can ignore the problems out there."

The 54-year-old believes the recent dry weather in Northland could also be attributed to global warming.

"I'm originally from up north and it hasn't had any water for three months now," he says. "You've got to ask the question – all the signs are saying something is happening and I believe it's down to climate change."

Mr Henare is hoping to get up to 5000 people at the event and says it doesn't take much to help the environment.

"Every step counts just like every drop counts," he says.

Go to www.liveearth.org for more information.

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