Americans go on ‘Shower Strike’ for Clean Water in East Africa

July 28, 2011

AUSTIN– Well Aware has organized a unique effort to help provide clean water to East Africa, which is suffering from a drought that the United Nations has recently called the worst humanitarian disaster on Earth. The nonprofit has organized more than 100 volunteers who have pledged to not shower until they have each raised at least $1,000 towards clean water projects in Kenya, Africa.

The largely-online fundraising effort, dubbed Shower Strike 2011, (see showerstrike.com) has raised more than $30,000 in small donations in just 48 hours. Well Aware says 100 percent of all donations will go directly to pre-identified clean water projects, including deep water wells, pipeline projects, and rainwater collection systems in the most arid parts of Kenya. Working alongside certified hydrogeologists to identify the most promising geographic areas, Well Aware has already constructed several wells and contributed to pipeline projects that have saved thousands of lives in Kenya. All donations are 100 percent tax deductible.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, referring to the drought crisis in Kenya, said Monday, “This is a wake up call we cannot ignore.” Factors including regional conflict, high food prices, and an ongoing drought have put 11 million people in desperate need of water there, according to Ki-Moon. "Mothers and children commonly walk 15 miles a day in search of any water, preventing children from being able to attend school," he said.

Executive director of Well Aware, Sarah Evans says “women aren't able to further themselves or get an education and children are not going to school, so it's a cycle that needs to be broken and the way to provide that is by providing clean water.”

The Shower Strike website (http://www.showerstrike.com) allows anyone who wants to volunteer to set up their own webpage for collecting donations. Volunteers from across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa have taken the shower strike pledge. Well Aware hopes to raise at least $100,000 in one week for its clean water projects there.

About Well Aware

Well Aware is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization formed in 2006 to provide life-saving water for those who have none. Well Aware completed three water projects in 2010. After assessing each area, Well Aware determines the most practical and lasting solution— water well (borehole or hand-dug), rainwater collection system or pipeline from a nearby natural spring. More than 60 percent of existing water wells in Kenya are currently not working due to NGO neglect. Well Aware’s project planning and budgeting includes lifetime technical support, community oversight and development consultation.

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