Writer Amanda Christmann
Photography Courtesy of Hope4Kids
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s you read this, women and children across the world are walking miles on end carrying jerry cans and wide aluminum pans in their daily quest for water. Once they are filled from ponds, streams and rivers, the heavy containers are hoisted atop heads and gingerly carried back home, where the water can be used for drinking, cooking and bathing.
Turning on our water faucets to clean, fresh water is a process we tend to take for granted, and it’s easy to forget that others aren’t so fortunate. One local organization, Water4Kids International, a division of Hope4Kids International, is doing something to help—and you can, too.
The third annual Walk4Water in Cave Creek will take place April 6, beginning and ending at Saddlecreek Coffee. The two-mile walk will honor the women and children who travel that distance, and often more, to fetch water each day. The goal of the walk is to raise funds to build deep-water wells in the remote Ugandan villages of Nansaka and Kanyogaga, and to raise awareness of the worldwide issues regarding clean water.
Though the daily walk for water that people around the world endure is inconvenient and physically difficult, those issues are not the primary concern.
“The number 1 killer of children 5 years old and younger in Uganda are diseases related to unclean water,” said event organizer Peggy O’Rourke. “These are diseases that, in America, would be 100 percent treatable.”
O’Rourke has visited Uganda twice on mission trips through Hope4Kids International.
“It was very clear to me that the water they have available to them is less than ideal,” she explained. “They’re drinking out of the same water as animals, and drinking out of the same water that people go to the bathroom in.
“Nobody should have to drink dirty water. By giving a few hours of your time and inviting friends and family to sponsor you, thousands of men, women and children in these two remote villages will have clean, safe water for the first time in their lives.”
Water4Kids International has already drilled over 600 wells worldwide. The $10,500 price tag that each bore hole carries includes a contingency fund that will ensure that each well will have a lifetime of about 30 years. They also have teams on the ground whose job it is to check the drilled wells annually, making sure that village administrators are keeping them operational.
“This is all done with money raised by people like me,” said O’Rourke. “There is no help from the government. If it wasn’t for help from organizations like this, these people would have no water.”
Walk4Water registration can be completed online, and registration is open through the morning of the event. Raffle prizes and a silent auction will be awarded at Saddlecreek Coffee.
“If you can’t walk, you can donate, and that’s great,” O’Rourke said. “Every dollar helps toward building the wells.”
Make a difference
3rd Annual Walk4Water Cave Creek
Saturday, April 6, 2019 | 8 a.m. | Adults $25; 17 and under $15 | Saddlecreek Coffee Co. | 28212 N. Tatum Blvd., Cave Creek | w4ki.org