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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

1,000 Wells holds demonstration for awareness of water related disease

In order to spread awareness of the fact that every 15 seconds someone in an underdeveloped country dies for lack of access to clean water, the 1,000 Wells Project at UC Davis held their firstdie in Apr. 16 on the Quad.

Members of the project grouped in the dining area outside the Memorial Union in silence, and every 15 seconds for over an hour in cycles of 10 minutes, a person would put a black shirt on, sit down on the ground, and hang a cardboard sign around their neck readingI am a child in Sub Saharan Africa, I died because I didn’t have access to clean water.

“Every year [1000 Wells] develops in a new way; what was initially just a couple of students five years ago has grown into a full blown program. I really like this event as a way to give visual aids to these statistics,said Tyson Babayco, UC Davis graduate and founder of the Davis chapter, who participated in the event.

In five years, the project has raised approximately $55,000, and is directly responsible for the funding that built two wells in Uganda last year, currently supplying an estimated 8,800 people with clean water.

“It’s difficult right now to separate AIDS from the problem of unclean water,said Jane Marie Ford, senior community and regional development major and head coordinator of the group at Davis.

Due to the prevalence of AIDS and the compromised immune systems that are an effect of the disease, Africans who drink unclean water are at risk for cholera, guinea worm and trachoma.

“Guinea worm disease is a debilitating and painful infection…. [A] worm penetrates the stomach, makes its way to the skin and after growing to a length of three feet, emerges from the body through a painful blister,according to the 1000 Wells Project website.

1.1 million people die yearly because of water related disease, according to the Davis 1,000 Wells website.

This was one of several spring activities that the 1,000 Wells Project is part of. This week marks the start of their Two Weeks of Sacrifice annual fundraiser. Members ask that contributors drink only water for two weeks, and on May 1 donate the money they would have spent on other drinks.

“I thought the demonstration was really effectivesaid Catrina Hayes, a junior Spanish and economics major.I saw one lady give a moan when she read the statistics; I didn’t see too many shocked faces but people looked very solemn in general.

 

CHARLES HINRIKSSON can be reached at campus@theaggie.org. 

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