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Walk at UT helps residents in third world countries get clean water

Every year, students at the University of Toledo help one step at a time.

TOLEDO (WTOL) - The annual Walk for Water 5K was held Sunday at the University of Toledo as students hoped to raise awareness and money for clean water.

Women and children in countries such as Guatamala and El Savador haul jugs every day to find safe, clean water.They do it to lower their chances of getting intestinal diseases like colorera, diarrhea, dysentery, and typhoid fever.

UT students were encouraged to symbolically carry jugs representing the daily trek of third world residents.

“Women and children often walk up to six miles a day just to get water. Often times it’s not clean water that they’re going to get,” walk organizer Annie Tomei said.

Pledge money raised by the walkers goes towards the purchase of water purification units. Five thousand dollars will be raised this year.

The units are built on campus by UT engineering students. Just over 200 are now in place in Central America.

“You see in these developing countries that kids are missing school and women don’t have jobs because they’re spending time getting water and sick and helps with health efforts and cultural aspects of things,” engineering student Kylee Kramer said.

Students are moved by the sad stories they’re hearing.

“We have access to water every day. Just turn on the faucet. It’s really cool to be part of this,” Michael Patterson said.

“I feel clean water is a right and everybody has a right to,” Gabrielle Latreille said.