Updated Tue, Oct 25, 2011 1:58 pm
More than one billion people across the planet face a significant problem: clean water access.
One out of six people lack access to safe drinking water, and more than two out of six people lack adequate sanitation, according to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation.
A student organization at Ohio University has decided to take a stand and raise awareness about the millions of thirsty people across the world. Better Together aims to act together to voice their values, engage others, and share the importance of service to the community. With a dual focus on local and international water security and domestic poverty, the campaign organizes and sponsors events that give students opportunities to put their beliefs and values into action.
Better Together Organizer Rachel Hyden expressed pride in the group’s impact on campus so far. “We’ve had a lot of luck capturing attention on campus,” said Hyden. “From the Interfaith Peace Walk with over 350 walkers and volunteers to our stream clean-up which brought together over 30 students of different faiths.”
Monday, OU students and faculty joined Better Together for a screening of the documentary “Thirst.”
The film tells the stories of communities in Bolivia, India, and the United States that face the fundamental issue of water security.
“Thirst” opens at the 2003 Third World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan, where politicians, international bankers, and corporate executives gathered to decide who will control global fresh water supplies. Their consensus for large dams and privatized, corporate water systems is challenged by experts and activists who assert that water is a need rather than a want.
While Better Together aims to raise awareness of the water crisis by showing the documentary, they also have another goal in mind. The student organization is working to alleviate the problem of thirst by raising $5,000 to build a well in a developing nation.
Better Together is just getting started this year and plans to sponsor several more events to get students involved in changing the world. Organizer Shea Daniels said the group’s next event is right around the corner.They will meet at United Campus Ministry at 18 N. College St. later this week. “We will all be getting together this Thursday during trick-or-treat to hand out candy,” said Daniels. “I think it would be a fun and meaningful experience.”