So here are again at the end of another year of our group the 50four50. It is my birthday tomorrow and so for this new project I have decided to pursue 2 of my favourite topics – Surfing and Travel with the world concern I feel most passionate about – The World Water Crisis. Our new month project is Waves For Water and should strike a chord with all my friends who love to surf or travel or both.
What do Waves For Water do? …
The mission is simple but the goal lofty, and the vehicle innovative – To get clean water to every single person who needs it.
People living in impoverished areas die every day from drinking dirty water. While having access to clean water is a luxury that many of us take for granted, there are millions living in nations with no filtration systems in place. Kids drink from the same streams where animals bathe. In addition, there’s no clean water available for surgery if someone is injured, putting the wounded at risk of deathly infections.
The goal is to take existing solutions in the form of portable water filters into countries that need them. There are different options in deciding which filters would be best for each region, based on needs in various areas. Options range from ceramic filters that can be transported by one person, to larger filters that can provide clean water to an entire village.
Waves 4 Water has teamed up with surf company Hurley International to develop a DIY volunteer program called Clean Water Couriers, in which surfers in searching for waves in third-world countries carry filters with them in their luggage. Pack a few filters in your suitcase and either connect with local non-profits in that area or personally travel to villages to set them up yourself. Creating these types of filtration systems are simple: generally all you need are paint buckets (easily found in any country), a knife to make a hole, spigots and ceramic-drip water filters that can be purchased for $25 each or the preferred community filter at $50.
Waves 4 Water have also teamed up with large non-profits and government agencies to provide large-scale solutions to areas in need. Waves 4 Water recently set up large filters that have helped to combat the cholera outbreak caused by contaminated water in Haiti that has killed more than a thousand people and sickened thousands more. Similar set ups in poor regions around the world can help provide clean water to the masses.
While Waves 4 Water was conceived in the surf community, anyone who travels can help in a similar way. Waves 4 Water volunteers have successfully set up various types of filtration systems in Haiti, Indonesia, Bali, Pakistan, Samoa, Chile and Nepal. Each of these countries is being used as a model of success that can be applied worldwide.
The idea isn’t to get one person to drop off 100 filters and call it a day. Let’s try to get 100,000 travelers to each pack 10 small filters, or team up with groups to implement projects with larger filters for an entire village. Then, the world will start to take notice.
“Imagine millions of travellers doing this. Now, we’re making waves.”
The Waves 4 Water objective is to identify the problem and quickly connect an existing user-friendly solution. The long-term goal for Waves 4 Water is to be proactive, rather than reactive. There is no reason anyone should die from lack of clean water… people have already done the hard work and have developed technology solutions that help eliminate senseless deaths. It is our job to make sure that technology solutions and quality education are in the hands of those in need. Individuals who are travelling to poor nations can easily eliminate the distribution challenges most bureaucracies face in philanthropic aid programs. It’s guerrilla humanitarianism at the core, and it works!
As 50four50 members I know many of you travel – I know some of you have travel plans this year even. Next time you travel you can make a huge difference in the lives of people and communities in distress by packing a few filters in your suitcase - anyone who travels can help. Waves 4 Water has a program they call “Clean Water Couriers” which is basically travellers dropping off water filters to places as they travel – please consider becoming a Clean Water Courier. Volunteers – can purchase Waves 4 Water filters and deliver to destinations all over the world.
Travel with a purpose and do something remarkable.
PROBLEM ~ In Angola, access to safe water is extremely limited, and 90% of water is contaminated with faecal matter. Less than 40% of Angolans in rural areas have access to improved water supplies. Epidemics of cholera, malaria, and diarrhea are common diseases in many parts of the country. Angola’s lack of clean water and poor sanitation is the main reason it is among the highest under-five mortality rate in the world.
SOLUTION ~ A team from Waves 4 Water travelled to Cabinda, Angola in March, 2014 to bring access to safe drinking water to 20,000 people. They bought 200 clean-water systems (filter & bucket) and did clean-water training & distribution at a variety of schools, maternity hospitals, and remote rural villages. The team worked closely with JAM, a local youth action organization – so they not only delivered safe water, but trained a local team to be able to continue the work after they left the country – When they return for phase 2, this team will once again play a key role in bringing safe water to this desperate country.
IMPORTANT ~ I have created a specific “Fundraiser” page on the Waves 4 Water website here - http://www.wavesforwater.org/fundraiser/50four50 and this will be the portal for our donations this month.
Make your monthly donation!!
2. Go directly to the 50four50 fundraising page for Waves 4 Water to make your donations by following this link HERE.
Don’t forget to return to this page and let us know how much you have donated by putting the figure into the box on the right hand side of the page.