If access to safe water is the biggest problem for the world's inhabitants, then the most compassionate thing to do is to solve that problem.
So says Mark Hogg, founder and CEO of WaterStep, in a recent Skype interview with EthicsDaily.com. Based in Louisville, Ky., WaterStep (formerly EDGE Outreach) uses the tagline: "Training and Technology to Heal a Thirsty World." The interview is now live on Vimeo.
Skype Interview: Mark Hogg from EthicsDaily on Vimeo.
The organization put water at the center of its work in 2001. They began teaching and training volunteers who would travel to other parts of the world about water technology. They hosted conferences. They imagined what could be done to improve the fact that more than 1 billion people have a crisis of safe water.
"We went from training in water purification and filtration to hand-pump repair to developing a health and hygiene education model," says Hogg. "Now we've begun to actually innovate tools with engineers in our community."
In the interview, Hogg also discusses why access to safe drinking water is even a problem in so many parts of the world.
Though many Western countries made safe water delivery part of their developmental infrastructure, that option is currently beyond the financial capability of the developing world. As such, the solutions there must be more "decentralized."
Now WaterStep works to empower citizens of other countries – via knowledge, tools and training – to be able to sustain a fresh and safe water supply. Hogg, in the interview, shows a few tools that WaterStep has devised on this quest.
Hogg shows how WaterStep reduced the weight of a typical hand-pump repair kit from 170 pounds to about 66 – a critical difference while trying to service remote areas.
Watch the interview with Hogg at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-markhogg
Visit Mark Hogg and WaterStep online at WaterStep.org
Watch other EthicsDaily.com Skype interviews at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily