The Technician, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
Graduate starts non-profit to provide clean water
Former N.C. State student launches global non-profit organization providing water to thousands
By Caitlin Barrett, Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, March 3, 2010
James Wilde, an N.C. State graduate, has just started a global non-profit organization called Global H2O to provide clean drinking water to those around the world in need.
Wilde became interested in clean water issues during a trip to Tibet, where he got dysentery.
“I had seen water issues but never really experienced it,” Wilde said.
Wilde said after he began to research clean water crises around the world he was struck by the startling facts.
According to Wilde over three million people die from water-related issues each year and one in eight people are affected globally.
Wilde said clean water has a massive impact on rural villages. Since people have a close source of clean water, they do not run the risk of being infected by diseases from contaminated water and children no longer have to walk hours through dangerous areas to gather dirty water and can spend time in school and less time being sick.
Hallie Spears, a freshman in the first year college, said we don’t know these problems exist because of how much we take for granted.
“The clean water movement is so important and needs to be taken seriously,” she said. “We as Americans often do not realize that this problem exists because we are fortunate. We all need to be more gracious of what we have and donate so that others are able to have a better quality of life.”
Wilde was offered $10,000 for an Everest climb from a software company if he followed their stipulations: he had to use the software to start a non-profit organization. That’s when he put his knowledge of water pollution to use and generated the idea of Global H2O.
Wilde said he realized by drilling wells in rural areas clean drinking water could be accessed easily by locals, eliminating the risks associated with polluted water.
Elizabeth Covington, a sophomore in economics, said this is a great way to approach the issue.
“I think this is a major issue in our world today and I think this is an awesome way to solve it,” Covington said.
With initial help from various companies, Global H2O has recently constructed its first well in the Kitgum district of northern Uganda which will supply approximately 1,000 people with clean water.
According to United Nations estimates a $20 donation could provide one person with water for life and the return on the investment is more than eight fold.
“I think its a great idea and very eye opening.” Adam Craven, a freshman in civil engineering, said.
Wilde had initially saved up funds for a trip to Everest, but then committed all of it to get The Wilde Foundation and Global H2O up and running and has since developed relationships with drillers in many poor countries, including Haiti.
Robert Guillot, a sophomore in history, said Wilde’s efforts have made him more aware of the value of water.
“This has made me realize how something such as water is extremely precious to many people. Now that Global H20 is able to provide thousands of people with fresh, clean water at limited expense I think we all should band together and support this noble cause.” Guillot said.
Wilde is also working on projects to bring clean water to schools and hospitals across the world. He is in the process of starting internships for schools around the nation, including N.C. State, where students would start a marketing project for Global H2O. They would plan the production of a well, decide where to put it, organize a campaign to raise the necessary funds, and see their project through all the way to completion.
For more information on Global H20 visit globalh2o.org. For information regarding internships email James Wilde at email@example.com.
News & Observer, Raleigh, North Carolina
James Wilde has long been an outdoors enthusiast, but now the Raleigh native is trying to use his love of the environment to help with a bigger cause.
Wilde, 39, has formed a nonprofit group called Global H2O to help povide fresh water to people in areas of the world where it is not easily accessible.
Originally funded with money Wilde was collecting for a trip to Mount Everest, Global H2O has just completed its first project, putting in a well for people in the Kitgum district of Northern Uganda. The cost of that project, according to the group’s Web site: about $15,000.
Now Global H2O is planning to ramp up fund-raising efforts and continue working on new projects, including possibly some in Haiti. So far, Global H2O has received support from many local businesses, including Sage software, The Great Outdoor Provision Co. and Modry Design Studio of NC.