Water ambassadors lighting country blue

·2 min read

Water Ambassadors Canada is turning landmarks blue across the country and at home to celebrate World Water Day.

The Haliburton charity is lighting up the CN Tower, Calgary Tower, Vancouver City Hall and Haliburton’s Head Lake Park fountain blue March 22. It is for the United Nation’s World Water Day to raise awareness about the global water crisis.

Charity founder Barry Hart said it is also a way to help promote their own organization’s efforts.

“Just to highlight the problem of clean drinking water because it’s way under the radar. Contaminated drinking water is the biggest cause of death and disease in the world,” Hart said.

The charity helps deliver clean water to communities worldwide through well drills, repairs, filters and more. It originated in Haliburton, with members journeying to help projects in-person. CEO Brian Johns said the charity’s efforts remain ongoing in the pandemic.

“There’s still a lot of ways people across Canada can help,” Johns said. “While our volunteer trips to partner countries are on hold, we’re still connecting our in-country partner teams with the financial and material resources they need to keep water flowing.”

The organization has done more than 40 projects over the last six months spread across countries such as Uganda, Colombia, Honduras, Liberia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.

“We’re going to beat the bushes for awareness and fundraising to keep these projects alive and working in these other countries,” Hart said. “It’s actually turned out better for us with our in-country people, way better than we feared.”

The organization is fundraising through World Water Day, with a $100,000 target. Hart said the figure is arbitrary, though also matches a legacy donation recently received from a Haliburton cottager.

Hart said the charity hopes to make this an annual tradition to generate more awareness in subsequent years.

“People think of some of these bigger causes and awful diseases, or COVID right now. But meanwhile, the need for clean water is such a huge thing,” Hart said. “It’s so basic you can’t see it.”

To donate visit waterambassadorscanada.org.

Joseph Quigley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Highlander