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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Walking for water

Much of the developing world has no immediate access to clean water — a fact that an on-campus non profit hopes to emphasize Thursday when it asks students to carry five-gallon water buckets around the Memorial Student Center for a half-mile.
The Texas A&M chapter of Just4Water, a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable water practices in developing countries, partnered with the American Society of Civil Engineering to host Walk4Water, an event in Rudder Plaza to raise awareness of the water-supply difficulties in other parts of the world.
Victoria Vratil, civil engineering senior and co-coordinator of the walk, said students and faculty are encouraged to participate and donate money towards water well projects.
“The event is simply to create awareness for children and families in other countries who don’t really have the option of doing this task every day or not,” Vratil said. “They’re forced to do it every day to survive and we’re just trying to get people to see it from that perspective.”
All donations will go towards upcoming projects that will take place in Guatemala and El Salvador, Vratil said.
“We’re going to build wells and show locals how to build wells on their own. Also teach them about nutrition and healthy water quality,” Vratil said. “We donate our equipment to them in exchange that five wells will be built each year.”
Vratil said there is no better place than Texas A&M’s campus to show support and raise awareness.
“It’s awesome that we as students can have an impact on the world around us,” Vratil said. “And we really just hope it gives students a feel of what its like to work for a basic necessity. We do this and then we get to go back to drinking from our water fountains and water bottles. This is something those community members have to do every day and they don’t have the choice.”
Dylan Laird, co-coordinator of the event and water management and hydraulic science graduate student, said the goal is for the Texas A&M community to walk 100 miles collectively.
“We really just hope it gives students a feel of what it’s like to carry water for a basic need,” Larid said. “It’s only a portion of the real journey that these women and children do every day. We want it to sink in to people.”
Laird said he hopes Walk4Water will become an annual event that encourages students to keep raising awareness.
“It’s something people can really enjoy being a part of knowing that it’ll eventually help affect hundreds of lives,” Laird said.
Walk4Water will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday in Rudder Plaza.

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