Thanks to James Harrington, director of the Ugandan Water Project, and members of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Geneseo students are now contributing their efforts toward remedying Uganda's water sanitation problem.
The Ugandan Water Project is a non-profit organization that is fundraising money to build water tanks in Uganda. These tanks will collect rainwater off roofs of houses to supply safe, drinkable water. The project also aims to strengthen communities by providing the water tank as a shared resource.
This past week, members of IVCF set up an attention-grabbing display in the Union lobby to promote awareness about the project in an attempt to raise enough money for a water tank.
"[The tank] can last 35 years, brings water to about 200 families, and is really efficient," said junior J.T. Irizarry, a member of IVCF. Irizarry further explained that the tank project differs from the wells that are currently in effect in Uganda.
The wells range from $12,000 to $15,000 to construct and they also dry up within a few years, whereas the tanks only cost $3,000 to construct and last much longer. "According to a lot of people in the area and studies they've done, it's pretty moist in rain season and the tanks do collect a lot of rain," said Irizarry.
Members of IVCF said they sat in the lobby in hopes of raising $3,000. While only $524 was raised, strides have been made. "We figured if everybody gave $1, it would bring water to over 100 families," said Irizarry. Anyone who donated received a free cup of water. A jug of dirty water was also on display to get students' brains churning about what the Ugandan people have to deal with on a daily basis.
"This is the perfect opportunity," said Irizarry. "It not only brings them the water but the tanks are built right in Uganda, which also creates jobs, and the Ugandan people are coming together."
"This great project was started out of love for our neighbors in Uganda," sophomore Jen Coffie added. "We're trying to help and create community."