The Devil's Advocate

Thirsty for Change: Leominster Hosts the Thirst Project

Madison Duffey, Reporter

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On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, Kellen Brewer and Sam Marzula visited Leominster High School to educate students about the Thirst Project, an organization created to help end the global water crisis.

Imagine having to walk miles to get your water. That’s an everyday task for many living in places such as Uganda and Swaziland.

Whereas, “the average American uses over 100 gallons each day,” people living in less fortunate parts of the world use “only 5 gallons,” said Brewer, who spoke on behalf of the Thirst Project.

With 70% of the world made up of water, 97.5% is salt water. That leaves only 2.5% of drinkable water for 7 billion people.

Water is “one of the most important things in our lives but we never really think about it.”

Although the global water crisis is causing more deaths than anything else, there doesn’t seem to be a large focus on it, Thirst Project explained.

The problem is that people are drinking from contaminated sources of water that are often shared with animals, where they don’t only drink from but bathe in as well.

Earth dams, open and unprotected water sources, contain small larvae, parasites, and mosquitoes which may be ingested they said.

People can contract diseases such as ringworm, schistosomiasis, and can suffer from deformities, fatigue, and miscarriages.

The Thirst Project raises awareness and helps fund the building of wells in areas where they do not have clean water.

“It’s so amazing to see what happens, child mortality drops, disease drops overnight, it impacts every single sector of the community.”

Women and children are usually the ones who walk back and forth to the contaminated water sources each day for miles. By providing a clean water source, you not only eliminate the diseases but promote women’s rights and  allow them to get jobs or an education.

This organization was all started by a group of college students who wanted to make a difference. Their goal is to motivate the youth of society because they feel that the end of this crisis rests with them.

“We’re the generation inheriting this problem, we want to end it,” said Brewer. He added that  before there were one billion people who didn’t have water. The project has since reached 13 countries and serves 306,000 people.

In his closing statement, Brewer said “to the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world…Be someone else’s hero, change their world, and see how they change the world.”

At the end of the presentation, students seemed inspired as they walked up to the jerry cans in the front and signed their names and donated whatever they could.

If you are interested in getting involved with the Thirst Project or want updates, text Thirst to 977-79 or follow their social media accounts @thirstproject.

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Thirsty for Change: Leominster Hosts the Thirst Project