AUSTIN (KXAN) - Imagine not having any access to usable water at all.
That is what life is like for many in Third World countries. But a local nonprofit that's helping fund wells in Africa is making a huge difference in the lives of thousands halfway around the world.
People in many undeveloped countries must make due with muddy or infested waters and that caught the attention of some church members in Austin . That's whey they decided it was time to find a solution.
"We were exposed to the need of clean water in rural communities in Africa," said Dick Moeller, founder of Water to Thrive . "Where women and children literally walk four to six hours a day of their lives carrying dirty water back to their family."
That was five years ago. Today, Moeller and his foundation has managed to raise enough money to fund nearly 300 fresh water wells. Each well is designed to provide fresh water for up to 500 people at a time for up to 20 years.
"It's really been an amazing journey for us," said Moeller. "Literally thousands of people over the last four or five years have come together to help support us."
Each well costs about $5,000 to build. Funds are raised from a variety of events organized throughout the year. The wells are each built out through partnerships with local community members there, then closely monitored the project from Austin .
A local staffer with first hand experience of their living conditions keeps donors informed about each water well project.
"What I saw there is something that's hard to imagine," said Mary Clare Rodriguez, project manager at Water to Thrive. "We talk about the drought that we have here but we still have water when we need, I mean I have a water bottle on my desk at all times."
Organizers say nearly one in three people have no access to fresh water and that adds up to almost 65 million living in rural Africa.
"It's an important project," said Ed Sharlau, ambassador of Water to Thrive. "We're glad we're making a huge difference but we want more people to get involved."
They hope spreading the good word about their mission will help stop the spread of disease and instead bring a better quality of life to those in need.
Water to Thrive is sponsoring its fourth annual 5k run and benefit to be held in Round Rock on Sept. 29.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police confirm they have located an 82-year-old women who went missing last night.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.