Club seeks to improve clean water access

Courtesy Photo /

Courtesy photo

Courtesy Photo /

Hannah Matro

One of eight people in the world are not able to access clean, fresh drinking water, but a new student organization
at Grand Valley State University is seeking to change that.

“This is a crisis that requires action on our part,” said Hillary Uldricks, vice president of Students for Clean Water.

The organization, which was officially approved at the end of the fall semester, already has a clear focus for their first active semester.

“We started the group because we want to raise awareness on campus because we believe that clean water is a basic human right, and that it is lacking in developing countries,” said Cody Ensing, president of Students for Clean Water.

The 10-member club’s main focus is fundraising for the upcoming Walk for Water.

The event will be put on by 20Liters, a local grass roots organization that focuses on bringing clean water to Rwanda.

“The Walk for Water provides an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those who walk for their water every day and to raise funds to bring water filtrations to communities in Rwanda,” Uldricks said.

The walk will take place April 12 in Huizenga Park in Zeeland, Mich., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To fundraise for this specific cause, Students for Clean Water has set up an online donation page and plans on manning tables in Kirkhof Center to encourage students to sign up for the Walk for Water and also to induce donations for the event.

Uldricks said the fundraiser could provide clean water for a varying number of families, depending on how much money the organization raises.

“$40 creates access to clean water for one family for up to 10 years,” she said. “$140 buys a slow-sand filter that creates access to clean water for four families for up to 10 years. $3,200 buys a rainwater harvesting system that creates access to clean water for 100 families for up to 10 years.”

The group hopes to raise at least $3,200, which would purchase a rainwater harvesting system that would grant 320 Rwandans access to clean water.

By improving the world’s sanitation, hygiene, water supply and the general way water is handled, one-10th of the world’s water problems could be solved, reducing child mortality and improving health and nutritional status in a sustainable way.

Although the group has a plan of action, they are looking for new members.

“We are still working to get our feet on the ground so anybody that is passionate about helping people should come to one of our meetings or find us on Facebook,” said group member Courtney Morey.

Students for Clean Water meets Sundays at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Facebook page at Students for Clean Water: GVSU.

“We would love to partner with other organizations and are always accepting new members,” Uldricks said.

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