Everest 2010 for Global H2O
I hope to explain what my motivations were in creating this charity as well as the ways I am personally trying to affect the situation through my climb of Everest. (The first and last photos on this page are campaign donation links). Working together with Global H2O, I hope that the dream of reaching a challenging goal will rub off on the folks that are following and motivate them to action.
My dream to complete the 7 Summits
It all began 9 years ago on Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The achievement of a non-conventional goal, to climb to the roof of Africa, spurned images of bigger and more challenging goals; climbing the 7 continental summits. Nine years later, I find myself completing the final preparation to go to the highest place in the world and complete a personal dream.
Why Global H2O?
Along the path to achieving my dream, I began to understand the global Water and Sanitation Crisis; witnessing and experiencing first- hand the effects on impoverished nations.
Last year in Tibet, I came down with dysentery myself, causing me to rethink a lot of my charitible actions and plans. The level of child mortality resulting from water issues, the costs and strain put on health care around the world, and the simplicity of the solution were all primary reasons for my desire to found a charity. It is a global problem and I was interested in drawing on my global connections and establishing a global movement, so I decided to call it Global H2O.
Our daily dreams are luxuries compared to the dreams of the people of Uganda. Some simply want to have more time for studying, to become doctors or nurses. Some want to find work. Others just pray for a healthy family. Instead of going to school or taking care of the family, women and children spend hours walking to collect water— mostly contaminated water. Men miss on average 1 work day per month due to water borne illness. Of the 30+ million people in Uganda, over 15 million do not have access to a clean water source and the average daily income is $1.
I am dedicating the climb to raising awareness for the Global Water and Sanitation Crisis under the Global H2O brand. By donating through the links, you will be contributing directly to the next Global H2O project, creating water for 4500 people in the Kitgum Region in Uganda. So far, we have achieved 1/3 of this goal.
Why have you chosen water in Uganda?
I have personally been there and seen the suffering first hand; the malnutrition, the children suffering from parasites and infection. I have interviewed nurses at Health Centers and Principals at Local Schools. They all suffer from lack of access to clean water, and children are dying as a result.
During the first project, I was able to establish a logistics and supply network that is trustworthy and reliable. I have made sure that there is no corruption in this network and that locals get paid for work done. We help on two fronts (creation of jobs & solving the water issue).
How can access to clean water be an issue in the 21st century?
I ask myself this question all the time, especially since the solution is simple and inexpensive. As well, people often ask, “Why do they go to places where there is no water?” or “What are they doing to help themselves?” It is both a cultural issue and an economic issue. For these people it is ancestral territory without any economic development. Try to imagine how proud they are of their land, and if they leave it, where do they go without an income or money?
Look at your home. Where do you live? If you did not have plumbing, would you leave your home? Most of us have clean drinking water in their homes because of economic development and investment, developed off the back of a prospering economy. The economy in Uganda is developing but far from even the levels in 16th century Europe.
In these areas, there are sometimes no roads. There is no industry or trade. The government is investing for sure and they have huge programs around this issue, and there are NGOs and corporations also investing, but its not enough to keep up with the growing demand.
Everything starts with water. When you give people access to clean water, you improve living conditions to the point where the population grows (child mortality rates drop). Productivity increases. The need for farms, livestock and fisheries increases. All of this puts additional strain on the supply of water. The population growth and growth in demand for water based on development is outstripping investment made by the Ugandan government as well as NGOs. This means the situation is slowly getting worse.
There is plenty of work to be done, and I know for a fact that these people are organised and motivated to improve their own lives, but need more investment from outside to address the issue.
How have you contributed, James?
I have committed all sponsorship funds from my Everest expedition to the creation of Global H2O and the first well project. I am also committed to a campaign selling Tshirts, donating Everest Stones, donating my used Oxygen Bottles for the benefit of Global H2O.
How can I contribute?
You can help to alleviate the problem. You can participate by sponsoring feet of Everest ($1 per foot), buying stones from the roof of the world ($40), buying a Global H2O Tshirt ($25), buying a commemorative placque with one of the used oxygen bottles from the expedition (5 in total @ $1000 each). As well, you can simply just give water to one person ($20) or a family ($100) for life.
Here is the link to my personal campaign fundraiser (just click on my ugly face):
Most importantly, I would like everyone to spread the word to their friends and family. My climb up Everest is not nearly as big a challenge as that of the children of Uganda and their struggle to reach their fifth birthday.
I hope that you will join me in this cause.