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Hundreds attend Chico’s 11th annual Walk for Water

CHICO — The 11th annual Walk for Water brought hundreds of all ages to lower Bidwell Park on Saturday.
The Bridging the Gap Foundation puts on the Walk for Water at the One-Mile Recreation Area. Proceeds from funds raised from the event go to go to organizations that work to provide clean water to people in parts of Africa who don’t have access to clean, healthy water.
On average, there are usually about 500 people who attend and participate in the Walk for Water, according to the founder of Bridging the Gap and the Walk for Water, Sky Adams.
Adams said the walk is a way for participants to learn what it would be like if they had to walk for water in Africa.
“We take a walk, and all along the way, there’s educational stations. They learn what it would be like to walk for water in Africa,” Adams said. “Halfway through, they go down to the creek and collect water and then they carry it the rest of the way, and then they carry it back and dump it back into the creek.”
Some of the educational stations along the way included African drumming, learning how to balance the water bucket on top of one’s head and more.
Not as many people were expected to attend this year with the Camp Fire and gloomy weather, but that didn’t affect the amount of donations, Adams said.
“We’re going to be able to give away $12,000 to World Vision. We’re going to give $12,000 to Life Water.”
Another $10,000 will be donated to Teva Water, Adams said. The money comes from donors and corporate sponsors.
Tyson Babayco, a representative with Life Water, was thankful for the donation.
“It’s amazing. $12,000 is a significant chunk of money, clearly, and really what that means is an entire community of 240 people at least will be served with clean water and sanitation,” Babayco said.
Before the walk, the recipients of the donations had a moment to say thank you to everyone attending. Babayco said over eight years, Bridging the Gap has provided thousands of people with clean water and has made an incredible difference.
“We take water for granted in the United States, we turn on the tap and then there it is,” Babayco said. “We don’t think about the fact that it is drinkable and all the process that went into that. That’s a miracle on its own.”
Ted and Linda Reece, who are residents of Paradise, attended the Walk for Water for the first time this year and said it was a great idea and experience.
“I’ve been to Africa a few times and I’ve seen the situation over there, so I know how valuable it is,” Ted Reece said.
Linda Reece said clean water access also affects people in America, especially those affected by the Camp Fire.
“We’re from Paradise and our home was spared, but he’s (Ted Reece) talking about PID (Paradise Irrigation District) not coming back for two or three or four years because of the pollutants, so talk about not having water,” Linda Reece said. “It affects us in America too, with not being able to start up the businesses and getting back to your homes and so this is double for us today. Not only for people in third world countries, but for us too.” Related Articles

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