Ian Forbes, Company Manager and Expedition Leader for The Lifesigns Group, explains about the importance of ensuring drinking water hygiene when leading groups in overseas destinations.
“I have been leading expeditions around the globe for about 30 years, and have been visiting Nepal for over 20 years. Nepal is without doubt my favourite destination. I must have visited Nepal about 20 times with various groups.
Unlike the UK, water that comes from the public water system does not meet any strict guidelines to ensure it is safe for drinking, and out and about, whether it be trekking or carrying out project work, the water is always a constant source of worry. In Kathmandu I take my teams up to Monkey (Swayambhu) Temple and pass the river Bagmati that runs through the capital [see images below]; it’s hard to believe any water is safe to drink in Nepal as every bit of waste ends up in there.Every trip I lead or have ever led is a constant battle with clients to ensure that they are aware of the contaminated water supplies that can potentially cause serious illnesses and even fatalities in wilderness locations. There are a variety of microscopic organisms that can contaminate water supplies and cause potentially serious infections and fluid loss due to diarrhoea and vomiting, which can lead to hypovolemic shock and possibly death.
This year I was lucky enough to have a team that all carried the Pure Hydration aquapure traveller water bottles, which was good news. These bottles are very reliable, and alongside the other hygiene systems we put in place, I was optimistic that we would have a safe trip and that our members would be free from diarrhoea and vomiting.
After 2 weeks in-country (with some very strict water and hygiene regimes for the team) it was a very successful expedition, and, apart from the change of diet, everyone had a trouble-free experience.
I put this success down to the aquapure traveller water bottles and the group’s diligence regarding hygiene (the team even purified bottled water bought locally). People pay a lot of money to travel to these remote places and the small amount of money that it costs to buy this water bottle helps ensure that they don’t waste that time on the toilet or in hospital.”