What does clean water, education and surfing have in common? Well, according to Zack Parker, the founder of Walu International, a humanitarian aid organization completely focused on bringing safe and clean water practices to under developed countries around the word, clean water, education and surfing have more in common than one would think.
Educating local residents in under developed countries on clean water practices through Walu International was actually inspired by Parkers eight month around the world surfing trip. As Parker is currently a graduate student living in San Diego, surfing for him has always been more than just a hobby. While surfing the waves in Papua New Guinea, Parker noticed a lack of clean areas to use the bathroom as well as a lack of clean water sources in the local villages that surrounded the beach. When Parker asked a local resident where he could use the restroom, the resident pointed towards the waves (instructing him to use the beach as his toilet) and from there the idea was born.
Safe and clean water within the area isn?t a luxury or viewed as a top priority. Local residents in the surrounding villages do not recognize the need for clean and sanitary practices which is not only negatively affecting their health but also their water sources. Residents use the beaches and the outdoors as their toilet which is contributing to their lack of available clean and safe water. Parker, who is also teaming up with SurfAid International and Glacier Water, is taking the ?teach a man how to fish approach? to Walu International.
SurfAid International, an organization that hosts competitive surf competitions in efforts to raise money for those in need, has found that simply installing water filters and installing pipes isn?t the answer the residents are looking for. As the organization reported their findings to Parker prior to the team up, the mission of Walu International became even clearer. Installing a water filter will do wonders for the community for a few months, however, teaching the community the value of water filters and how to maintain them can change the entire community?s lifestyle.
Clean and safe water practices do involve building enclosed restrooms, designating isolated wells, installing water filters however Parker?s mission also involves educating residents. By instructing locals that using the beach as their restroom is negatively affecting their health and water sources, Parker is hoping to instill the sense of value amongst residents once clean water sources are installed.
Parker and Walu International are not only planning on bringing clean water to countries in need but are hoping to be recognized as a top humanitarian aid organization in educating under developed countries not only the importance but also the value of a having access to clean and safe water sources.