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CSU alum asks: ‘Drink Local, Drink Tap’

October 27, 2011

By Brittany Lett

How would you survive if you had limited resources to fresh, clean water? What if you had to walk two to four miles to gather water to last you and your family for a few days?

In America, we live in a country where people don’t have to struggle for basic needs like water because it’s abundant and portable. However, many people in other countries such as Uganda do not have this luxury.

Ugandan kids act goofy with bug eye toy.“Drink Local, Drink Tap” (DLDT) is a non-profit organization created and directed by Erin Huber, a Cleveland State alum. While Huber was at CSU, she was known for voluntary work and green initiatives. She along with other students was instrumental in the 7,000-square-foot green roof project located on top of the Recreation Center and Farmers Market.

Started in 2009, DLDT’s mission is to reconnect people to their natural water supplies by using tap water and sharing portable water with those globally that are not as fortunate to have it.

“I find it very hard to comprehend that 1.1 billion people in the world don’t have access to clean drinking water,” Huber said.

Activities such as monthly beach clean ups, educational events, World Water Day celebrations, public speaking and film making help to engage communities, especially youth.

Ugandan boy recieves help at a well.About 84 percent of North America’s fresh surface water and 21 percent of the world’s fresh surface water is easily accessible to Americans.

In addition to spreading global awareness on issues surrounding water, here in Ohio, DLDT is working on discouraging the use of plastic water bottles, and working to spread global awareness to issues surrounding access to fresh water in Northeast Ohio.

Huber’s most recent project and film, “Making Waves from Cleveland to Uganda” is based on her recent visit to Mulajji Village, Uganda.

Huber and her team filmed and photographed their 30 day trip in rural Mulajji Village, where they documented the people of Uganda and shared their story of struggles and progress faced in their country.

During their trip, Huber and her team lived everyday life just like the natives of Uganda. They learned to do things such as cook, shop for food at the local market, and obtain clean water with the limited amount of resources they had.

Huber and her team also interacted with students of St. Bonaventure/St. Charles School in Mulajji Village whose parents have died or are affected from HIV/AIDS, died from war, Erin Huber jumps with kids in Uganda.or suffered from other conditions such as lack of medicine or nutrition.

Another part of the project is to create and build new water access to St. Bonaventure, St. Charles School.

In order to make this happen, DLDT needs to make their goal of obtaining $50,000 by November of this year, which will go toward initial film costs and initial water access installation.

“Sharing is so important. We are not just a Cleveland State University community, a Northeast Ohio community or United States community,” Huber said. “We’re a world community. Water does not stop where our boarders stop. And neither does our sharing of that water.”

DLDT knows that they cannot solve all the problems in the world. However sharing a natural resource that everyone in Northeast Ohio has is way to solve at least one.

To make a donation or for more information on DLDT, go to drinklocaldrinktap.com or email Erin Huber at erinh@appliedphenom.org.