By LENNY DESERIO
The humanitarian group Living Water International is taking their H20 Project to the country of Nigeria. Living Water International is based in Houston, Texas, and helps bring water to developing nations by coordinating with other aid organizations to build wells in these countries. The organization’s past projects have included building wells in South America, Africa, and Asia.
The problem isn’t always a lack of water in developing countries. Often times locals do have access to water, but it is typically contaminated with industrial pollutants and diseasecarrying organisms. According to Living Water International, approximately 1.1 billion people worldwide (roughly 20% of the world’s population) don’t have access to clean drinking water. The group also believes that unsafe drinking water is the cause of death of two million children each year in developing countries.
Currently the group is coordinating with Ivivukhua Progressive Union worldwide to build a borehole (which is bigger than a well) in the village of Ivivukhua, Nigeria. Dr. Thomas Iskengebe, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Services here at CCC, is a native of Nigeria. He believes part of the reason the people of Ivivukhua need a borehole dug in their village is their lack of a source for fresh water. “There is no source of water in the village. The closest well is eight kilometers away, and even that has hygienic issues,” he said. Iskenegbe believes another problem is corruption.
“Nigeria is rich in natural resources, but due to corruption in government, it doesn’t trickle down to the people. This is why the borehole needs to be dug, because without outside intervention, the people of Nigeria will not have anything to drink.”
It will cost about $100,000 to complete the project and provide clean water for the entire population of the village, approximately 7,000 people. The activity is being coordinated by the Student Government Association. The Student Senate heard about the project through Rebecca Sheppard, Assistant Director of Planning and Research at CCC at an October 2008 meeting. According to Student Senate Secretary, Tim Zoyac, the Student Senate is planning a voluntary payroll deduction for college staff to help raise funds for The H20 Project. “We are planning an automatic payroll deduction for college staff. This will be completely voluntary. Staff can choose a one time donation or donations taken out of their pay every pay period until Dec. 31, 2009,” said Zoyac. Donation sheets were passed out during Development Day. In addition to asking college staff to make payroll contributions, the Student Senate is also planning a spaghetti dinner. The dinner will be on April 2nd from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at a location to be determined.