Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augie Wells to provide cleaner drinking water in Africa

Augie Wells is planning to raise enough money to build two wells in Africa. It will send the money to Water to Thrive, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the need for clean water and building wells to provide safe drinking water.
It costs Water to Thrive $5,000 to build one well. Augie Wells raised more than $50 on Symposium Day and plan to hold more fundraisers throughout the year.
President of Augustana Steven Bahls and Jane Bahls have stated they will match whatever amount students raise, up to $2,500.
Augie Wells will be hosting the Walk for Water this year, in which students receive large buckets filled with water from the slough to carry around campus.
“People in these impoverished countries have to walk up to five miles a day to get to water that isn’t even clean and then they carry that back,” said senior Katie Douglas, who helps organize fundraisers for Augie Wells.
Douglas said the fundraiser is meant to show how hard some people work for drinking water that is usually not safe to drink.
“You wouldn’t want to wash your dog in this water,” said Jane Bahls. “80 percent of the deaths in Africa are from water-borne diseases. It’s just people not having decent water. We wash our cars in clean drinking water.”
Not only are people in Africa becoming sick and dying because of the unsafe water they are drinking, but women and girls spend much of their time carrying water to their families. Women in countries where water is scarce can spend up to 10 hours per day collecting water.
“They have to walk, say, five miles and then carry back big, five-gallon containers on their head to get water for their families, which means that the girls can’t go to school, and the women don’t have time to start businesses,” said Bahls.
Water to Thrive has helped build wells in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. Water to Thrive teaches villagers how to build and maintain the wells so they can become more self-sufficient.
According to the Water to Thrive website, “…almost a billion people in the world do not have access to clean, safe water.”
Anyone who wants to donate money to Augie Wells can visit the Water to Thrive website and find the Augie Wells campaign page.
“The impact that access to clean water has on a village is phenomenal,” said Douglas. “Kids have to stay home from school because they get sick, and all across the board, everything that having basic clean water can do to improve the lives of the people in these villages is just outstanding.”

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Augie Wells to provide cleaner drinking water in Africa