OSU professors will ascend Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of water needs, as they prepare to drill

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Two Ohio State University engineering professors are about to embark on a trip halfway around the world in search of clean water to meet the needs of villages in Tanzania, Africa.

Dave Williams, Dean of Engineering at The Ohio State University, said the challenge is to find and then pump water to villages inexpensively, using solar-powered wells.

Williams and colleague John Horack, Senior Associate Dean of Engineering at Ohio State, will team up with former National Football League Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long, a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award winner, on a formidable climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The Chris Long Foundation team will ascend from a plateau at 7,000 and summit the famed peak above 19,000 feet the last weekend of February. The initiative raises awareness about the shortage of clean water in African villages.

“All Waterboys well projects are sustainable, solar powered, deep borehole wells. Each well can provide water to a community of up to 7,500 people,” said Matt Schuette, Director of Communications for the Ohio State College of Engineering.

“Using designs provided by Ohio State’s Global Water Institute, WorldServe oversees the construction and completion of all Waterboys wells using Tanzanian-based crews, and has been building wells in East Africa since 2001,” said Schuette.

“A lot of the water is contaminated with fluoride,” said Williams. “A lot of the wells are dry. About a third of the wells that are drilled actually have fresh water.”

“When the wells go into the ground, communities have a great amount of growth in their local cash crop agriculture,” Horack said.

A free cash flow and clean water will allow villagers to plant two to three crops a year. The research model was designed by the Ohio State Fisher College of Business.

“Clean water is one of the most essential parts of any person’s existence, and where we can bring clean water to human beings who haven’t had it before, it not only changes their lives, but it changes the lives of generations to come,” said Horack.

To help the professors’ fundraising efforts, click here or here.

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