Local charity looking to provide clean water

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, October 2, 2013

One billion people on Earth don’t have access to clean water.

More than 4,000 children die every day for lack of water or from diseases borne from dirty drinking water.

If that’s not reason enough to hoist a 40-pound Jerry can and raise a few bucks to build a deep well in a Third World country where clean water is almost nonexistent, then there’s more.

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Jason Jones, an organizing member of WOD for Water Troy, was the program guest of Steve Thrash at the Brundidge Rotary Club Wednesday.

Jones told the Rotarians that in India and other Third World countries, women and children have the responsibility of “fetching water.” And, they do so in cans that weigh up to 40 pounds when filled.

“The water source is either a government well that is three to five miles away or a creek,” Jones said. “Often just getting to the water can be dangerous. Children in these Third World countries miss about 4.5 million days of school each year just going to get water.”

Jones, Derrick Irons and Troy Weed learned about the lack of clean water in countries including, India, Cambodia and Sudan from a Birmingham-based organization, Never Thirst.

In 2011, Never Thirst raised more than $100,000 to build clean water wells in Third World countries. Irons thought, Why not raise money here? Why not in Troy?

WOD for Water Troy became a reality in 2012.

“A well in India would cost $2,500 and our goal for the 2012 WOD for Water Troy was $10,000,” Jones said. “With that, four wells could be built in India.”

WOD for Water Troy raised $16,000 and four wells were built. Each well will last 20 years. Jones said everyone who participated in the Work Of the Day with 40-pound Jerry cans in tow was a part of building those wells.

The goal of this year’s 2nd Annual WOD for Water Troy fundraiser is $20,000 ,and that amount will build eight wells in India.

Jones said the community’s generosity already has been overwhelming.

“Through donations and sponsorships, $17,500 has been raised,” Jones said. “We are grateful for that and encouraged.”

The WOD for Water Troy fundraiser will be at 9 a.m. Nov. 2 on the Bibb Graves Quad at Troy University. Those who would like to participate but don’t want to workout with a 40-pound Jerry can on their backs, are invited to participate in the WOD for Water Walk.

Jones said surpassing the goal that has been set is now almost a given.

“The more money we raise the more wells that can be built,” he said. “And, that’s what WOD for Water is all about. That and spreading the Gospel of Jesus. That’s why Never Thirst partners with a church in the area when the wells are built.”

Jones said fundraising is the reason but participating in WOD for Water is the fulfillment.

“We want donations but we want people on the Quad Nov. 2 doing something for others, doing something that will last forever,” he said.

Jones said India is the fasting growing country in the world and its population is expected to double in the next 25 years and again in 15 years.

“The need for water will continue,” he said. “WOD for Water Troy is what we can do to help.”

The entry fee for the WOD for Water Troy event is $40. The entry fee for the WOD for Water Walk is $15. Children under the age of five participate free.

In order to guarantee a WOD for Water T-shirt, registration must be made by Oct. 18. Register online at wodforwatertroy.com. Registration may be done the day of the event.