A Rogue who is changing the world

Longtime Rogue Katie Alfredo may train for and run marathons, but she is also a PhD student focused on drinking water treatment for rural communities around the world. She has been selected as a volunteer with World Water Corps, and will soon travel to Uganda on a mission to develop sustainable drinking water sources and infrastructure. She is responsible for covering costs, and is reaching out the Rogue community for assistance. Whether you know Katie or not, please consider helping out a fellow Rogue who is out there doing amazing, life-saving things for others.

Her story is below:

A World Water Corp Volunteer assignment . . .

Fundraising Goal: $3000

Every day nearly 6,000 people die from water-related illnesses—many are children.  I have often heard the deaths from water-related illnesses equated to an airplane, full of passengers, crashing every hour.   Water For People (WFP) helps people in developing countries improve quality of life by supporting the development of locally sustainable drinking water resources, sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs.

On March 16th I will travel to Uganda with 3 other team members for a 2-week assignment with the World Water Corps (http://www.waterforpeople.org/programs/how-we-work/world-water-corps/), the international volunteer arm of WFP.  As a PhD student, I have been focused on drinking water treatment for rural communities and am excited to travel to Uganda and work in the field with WFP!

Uganda shares boarders with the DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, and Tanzania.  The work in Uganda is unique because about two-thirds of the rural and urban populations have access to safe drinking water and almost three-fourths used improved sanitation facilities and so supporting sustainable approaches to growing the infrastructure is key.  WFP goal as a non-profit is to support the development of locally sustainable water resources and sanitation in developing countries (www.waterforpeople.org).

My project assignment is a water, sanitation, and hygiene mapping exercise to determine the level of services in communities and public institutions as part of a continuous monitoring process.   I will visit the Kyenjojo and Kamwenge Districts in Western Uganda, two rural, agrarian regions.  Kamwenge, home to 365,000 people, has one of the highest poverty rates in the country.  The third district I will visit is Mukono District on Lake Victoria.  Working closely with the WFP Uganda staff, I will collect data on:

-level of access to safe water

-household access to improved sanitation

-level of water services

-level of household hygiene behavior

-status of water point functionality and management

The coolest part of this task is that the data we collect will be tethered with a GPS location and uploaded to the FLOW (field level operations watch) database.  The data will produce a GIS map and a summary report exemplifying the real areas of greatest need for water resources and sanitation development and education.  You can see the work I will be doing on this map (Uganda has no data points . . . yet!): http://watermapmonitordev.appspot.com/

As a World Water Corp Volunteer, I must cover the complete cost of my participation in the WFP Uganda project—airfare, vaccinations, visa, lodging, food, etc.  For this assignment, it is estimated to cost $3000. As a volunteer for the World Water Corps, I am sworn to complete this mission even if fundraising goals are not met; I am responsible for fronting the difference.  I don’t expect to raise enough to completely cover the trip, but any help will assist me in this assignment.

For those of you that know me, you are aware that I am not one to openly support many water related non-profits—but I completely support the Water for People mission. To be selected as a volunteer I submitted an application, my resume, and was interviewed for the position—they hire professionals to conduct work for which they are trained.  The WFP solution is to not support simple “let’s just drill” approaches and operate as a charity but to develop programs that last and examine entire districts and regions than purely households and villages.  They are working to sustainably supply water, to eventually put themselves out of business, and isn’t that the ultimate goal?

Again—anything will help. Donations can be taken at http://www.gofundme.com/f1v10 and I can be contacted at kalfredo@utexas.edu.

Thanks,
Katherine

You can read more about

FLOW: http://www.waterforpeople.org/programs/field-level-operations-watch.html

Water For People Uganda: http://www.waterforpeople.org/programs/africa/uganda.html

Water For People: http://www.waterforpeople.org/about/

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