Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Tauranga team back from Vietnam hike for water

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Mother and daughter team, Danika Hotham and Naarah Simpson have returned from trip in Vietnam with ChildFund. Photo/Supplied
Mother and daughter team, Danika Hotham and Naarah Simpson have returned from trip in Vietnam with ChildFund. Photo/Supplied

A Bay mother and daughter are home after trekking 50km through northern Vietnam.

The duo, Naarah Simpson and Danika Hotham, helped raise more than $50,000 with 11 other Kiwis which went towards bringing people fresh drinking water in the Southeast Asian country.

They flew into Hanoi before trekking 50km through the far north of the Vietnam countryside over four days.

Mother and daughter both said the ChildFund trip was once in a life time.

They started the trek from in Cao Bang, which was 15km from the Chinese border, in northern Vietnam.

"It was quite remote. Sometimes we were trekking through villages sometimes through the jungle and up mountains.

"We then stayed in people's homes. They were wood or mud huts, often with buffalo living underneath and roosters crowing in the middle of the night.

Sleeping marae style. It was really basic, but really amazing, " said Ms Simpson.

A highlight of the trip was project day, she said.

Mother and daughter team, Naarah Simpson and Danika Hotham have returned from trip in Vietnam with ChildFund. Photo/George Novak
Mother and daughter team, Naarah Simpson and Danika Hotham have returned from trip in Vietnam with ChildFund. Photo/George Novak

"It was really good to see the work they are actually doing over there because it is hard to imagine from here. We saw a village using the biosand filters which are what we fundraised for to support ChildFund with."

Ms Hotham said seeing the water filters in action was important.

"We saw the water source which they would normally drink from. It was disgusting. It was full of rubbish and right next to rice fields which they use pesticides on. It was also downstream from where people go to the bathroom.

"They also walk down to the water source with these massive buckets, then back up to their homes 2km away, and the water isn't even clean."

The group also got to see locals learning how to make the water filters, she said.

Ms Hotham said the scenery was "out of this world".

"You felt like you were in Avatar. On ground level were rice fields which were luscious green, then all around us were lime stone cliffs. It was beautiful. Then villages were wood or mud huts."

Given the opportunity, both women would take on the challenge again, they said.

The funds raised prior to trek would provide:
*Materials to build 100 biosand filters for 100 families
*Workshops for local men and women on how to construct water filters
*Training on how to use them
*Water tests to make sure the gift of clean water is a lasting solution

- Bay of Plenty Times

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