Barry Hart, Chairman of Water Ambassadors Canada visited WaterStep last Thursday. Hart and Water Ambassadors have worked with WaterStep over the last five years, and focus on sending more missions teams out to bring safe water to the world.
Hart founded Water Ambassadors Canada about 11 years ago. After retiring from teaching high school science, he heard about the world water crisis. He and his wife went to several conferences about water, and on a trip to Guatemala where they dug a well and learned more about the country’s water situation.
They then founded the organization to keep up the work. “I heard the statistics, and they went from my head to my heart,” he said.
Statistics like: 80% of all disease and sickness in the world is caused by inadequate water supply or inadequate sanitation, 1.1 billion people lack access to clean water, and 6,000 children die every day from illness caused by waterborne diseases, were what drove Hart to take action.
Hart and his team were focusing on drilling wells when they heard about WaterStep and their method of using chlorine generators to clean water. “There were all of these new water technologies developing at the time,” Hart said, “I came to see the chlorinator and realized that with the chlorinator, if you already have water, you don’t have to drill at all.”
This meant more people could have easier and cheaper access to water. Hart quickly decided that WaterStep would be a good partner for Water Ambassadors Canada, who work more as a sending agency, planning and sending people on trips. WaterStep could provide the technology and training for those going on Water Ambassadors’ trips.
Now, Water Ambassadors Canada and WaterStep have an “open door relationship” according to Hart. “Anybody from WaterStep is welcome to join us on our trips, and anyone from our trips can join WaterStep with theirs,” he said.
Hart also sends his teams to training at WaterStep’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky before they go on missions.
Rick Jenner, WaterStep’s Director of Hand Pump Repair, has worked closely with Hart as well, helping train people before they go on missions, and leading missions with Water Ambassadors. Teams can divide into groups that focus on either hand pump repair, or installing chlorine generators.
According to Hart, WaterStep has been a key part of their success as an organization. “Our vitality and diversity is directly due to WaterStep,” he said. “They have continued to welcome us.”
Water Ambassadors Canada will send out another 20 teams on missions this year, and Hart plans to focus on fundraising and keeping things running smoothly from Canada.