NORTH AUGUSTA/ AUGUSTA, G.A. (WJBF) – Hundreds of local people walking to provide fresh and accessible water for billions who go without it.
“It’s pretty tiring, but hopefully it’ll be worth it in the end, it will be worth it,” said Keyshawn Givens.
Givens is a student at Davidson Fine Arts. He says he doesn’t think it’s fair that everyone can’t have access to fresh water.
“I feel like everybody on earth should get the same treatment, and there shouldn’t be kids and adults that have to walk for water, when I can just go to the store,” he said.
More than 2 billion people don’t have access to freshwater. Water Mission, a non-profit organization based out of Charleston, South Carolina, is making strides to change that.
“One of the problems that we’ve learned about is that, one third of the population on average walks three miles a day to get water, and a lot of times it’s not clean water. The people who are doing this are young boys and girls, who are tasked every single day to carry jugs five-gallon jugs walk a mile and a half, fill it up and walk a mile and half back,” said Jeff Kertscher, a member of the planning board for the C.S.R.A Walk for Water.
Water Mission Leaders are making that fact a reality for people here in the C.S.RA. Saturday morning, people who participated crossed state lines on foot with empty buckets to fill them up with dirty water and then walked back. For 11-year-old Keyshawn, this reality was a hard one to grasp.
“Kids miss school, kids miss school, because of getting water, so people are losing their education to go get water,” he said.
Those participating in the event did more than just reenact that lifestyle, they made it a thing of the past for thousands of people.
“We’re raising funds and missions for water missions. Water missions does an amazing job and is more than just like wells and things like that, but they actually go into communities and they have these amazing engineers who assess the needs in the best possible way,” said Kertscher.
Those engineers find ways to provide long-term access to freshwater through purification systems. Which is what participants got to see Saturday. After walking to the St. Paul’s Church on Reynold’s Street and filling up their buckets with water, they came back to SRP Park and dumped the water into a large pool that was hooked to one of the Water Mission’s temporary purification systems. Once the water was dumped the system got to work, purifying that water, then dispensing it into another large pool.
“So many people don’t have water in other countries and sometimes we take it for granted in the United States, we have more water than we need, but yet we waste it,” said James Taylor, a participant in Saturday’s walk.