NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF)- The annual Walk for Water returned to the CSRA with the aim of gathering, educating and raising funds for the global water crisis impact.

“The reality is there are 2 billion people without access to safe water,” Water Mission Sr. Manager Community Engagement Mary Howell said.

More than 400 people gathered in North Augusta walking several miles carrying buckets of water.

“Women and children are walking an average of three and a half miles every day to get water for their families, and that water makes them very, very sick. At the end of the day, every 37 seconds, someone loses their life because they lack access to safe water,” Howell said. 

Kelli Cody Brookins volunteered her time, but she tells me she remembers her experience living in a struggling country. 

“I was actually in the peace corps in Western Africa, and I saw first-hand, as an environmental volunteer, how impactful clean water can be and having pumping stations in villages.” 

Brookins emphasized how much of an impact Walk for Water has had. 

“I think this walk is a great way to demonstrate the idea of what it feels like to have to carry water long distances and when I was in the peace corps you get over not having electricity pretty quickly, but one thing that was really difficult was not having running water and the amount of time it takes to get that water.”

Each family will benefit from the funds and awareness made by the many volunteers Saturday morning. 

“They get five gallons. Which is a very small percentage of these pools. That five gallons of water has to provide everything a family need for one day. So, from drinking water, to cooking water, to bathing that is all they have. So, the water that we’re carrying in each one of these buckets is around two and a half gallons. So, that’s half of what a family would have for a day,” Howell said.

Because of folks like Howell and Brookins, families’ worry of how they’ll have access to clean, fresh water is being reduced. 

“That’s why I came out. I think that they’re doing really great things at the water mission and like I said, I just know first-hand how important that is– as someone that lived in a country that didn’t have a lot of clean water and accessibility,” Brookins said. 

For more information on how you can be a part, or donate, visit.