Photo: Erik Cleves Kristensen under a Creative Commons license
Yesterday, a team of eleven climbers began a week long summit of Tanzania's Mt Kilimanjaro, in an effort to raise nearly $75,000 for The Water School, an international non-profit dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to the developing world. At 5,858 meters (19340 ft), Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, and a formidable challenge to the eleven team members, each of whom has raised $1 for each meter of the climb.The Water School was founded in 2007 in response to the terribly high numbers of people in the developing world without access to safe drinking water (1.3 billion), and who live without basic sanitation (2.6 billion). According to World Health Organization statistics, 2 million people die every year from diarrheal diseases, 88% of which result from poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water. Most of the victims are children.
The Water School's mission to is reduce those statistics through a three-step solution
- Teach the process of solar disinfection: place contaminated water in a clear plastic bottle, leave it in the sun for a day, and let the ultraviolet rays kill the viruses and bacteria.
- Teach program participants how to built latrines at home and to keep them sanitary.
- Emphasize basic hygiene practices to help reduce the spread of disease.
It's a simple and straight-forward solution, but one that still needs funding, which brings us back to the team currently hiking up the world's fourth tallest mountain. The money they raise will be used to train teachers to promote the three-step solution, as well as to provide the necessary materials in Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Nairobi and Haiti. The $75,000 will provide clean drinking water for life to 7,500 people.
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More efforts to bring clean water to everyone:
Five Poverty-Fighting Clean Water Projects and Designs
Alyssa Milano Raises $92,568 for Clean Water With Twitte
Cycloclean: Pedal Your Way to Clean, Drinkable Water