Dal student thirsty for change

- March 28, 2008

Colin Campbell is cycling to Toronto to raise awareness about water consumption. (Danny Abriel photo)

Colin Campbell is taking his passion for water to the streets, highways and back roads of Canada. After term wraps, the Dal student will be cycling home from Halifax to Toronto in order to raise funds and awareness about our most precious natural resource.

The fourth-year commerce student is one of 18 students who are part of Water 4 All Canada, a motivated and energetic group encouraging awareness about water consumption.

Mr. Campbell, trailed by three Dal friends in a car, will be making the 2,400-kilometre journey at the end of April. They plan on stopping at elementary and high schools along the way, in order to “get people to think differently about how they use water.”

Living on the coast, many of us do not consider where our water comes from when preparing food or brushing our teeth. Although water is “essential to life” it is “the resource most taken for granted,” says Mr. Campbell. In Canada, getting fresh water is as easy as turning on a tap, but many parts of Asia, Africa, and South America lack sanitized water, and accessing clean freshwater can be a struggle.

Mr. Campbell notes the magnitude of this issue but is quick to add “we’re not just going to sit on the couch, and talk about how important things are.” Instead, Water 4 All Canada plans to make a difference through peer education and fundraising. Group members are fundraising around campus, in malls and hotels throughout Halifax. They plan to send a video to the schools they will visit beforehand, in order to tell students about the project, and encourage them to help out in their own way, whether through making artwork or having a bake sale.

Mr. Campbell is hoping that the group’s enthusiasm will motivate young people to take action on the issue of water scarcity.  “I’m not a cyclist, but if I want to do it, I can,” he says. “The only thing that’s going to stop me is me. Everyone is capable of helping someone in need.”

With any luck, for the kids, learning about water scarcity will be like riding a bike: once you learn, you never forget.

If you are a member of Facebook you can check out Water 4 Canada’s Facebook group.

Jessica Wishart is a fourth-year student in International Development Studies.


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