WAUKESHA, WIS.— Carroll University’s quest to explore the impact of Water locally and around the globe has inspired a service project to benefit a rural Kenyan village. Ribe (pronounced Ree-bay) is thousands of miles from Waukesha, but has been connected to Carroll for more than 25 years, when Bud Hudson, professor emeritus of chemistry, first led New Cultural Experience Program trips to east Africa and introduced other Carroll folks to the people of Ribe.
Today, David Block, associate professor emeritus of geography, and Allan Katama, a 2000 Carroll graduate and native of Ribe, are working with Katama’s brother Tito, who serves as Ribe’s area councilor, a position similar to mayor. The Ribe Water Project will help address the village’s critical need for readily available potable water. It is an ongoing concern; many women and children must walk up to six miles each day for their water.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, members of the Carroll community will literally walk a mile in their shoes. From 9-11 a.m., participants will trek from Carroll’s Main Lawn to the Fox River, collect water, then carry the containers back to Carroll’s campus. For every gallon carried back, $1 will be contributed to the Ribe Water Project. Members of the public are invited to participate, either by carrying water or donating to the project. Those who wish to participate in the walk should bring a container for water and meet the Carroll group at 9 a.m. on Carroll’s Main Lawn.
The donated funds will help Ribe address its chronic surface water shortage by allowing for direct access to a reliable government source of piped water. An arterial network of gravity-fed water lines will be designed by a local engineer, then laid out, installed and maintained by the village women. This project is dependent entirely on private support. An anonymous donor has offered a $10,000 challenge: if the Carroll community can contribute $10,000, the donor will match it.
The Ribe Project is part of the university’s yearlong exploration of WATER: the essential element of life on earth, an interdisciplinary-themed series that will explore our relationships with water on personal, regional and global levels. During the 2011-2012 academic year, the Carroll community will examine how water informs cultural, environmental, spiritual, economic and political issues. For more information, visit www.carrollu.edu/water.