Xavier student selling water bottles to help provide access to clean water in Africa

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 4:02 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A senior at Xavier University is trying to make a difference across the world for those that need access to clean water.

Xavier student Zach Kane is the co-founder of Ripple, which is a company selling water bottles to help fund wells in African villages. Other members of the Ripple team include Joe Knopp, Chip Gottschalk, Jan Almasy, Jaret Dreschel, Kylie Sahloff, and James Warnken.

Each well costs about $8,000-$10,000 to build.

The bottles are modeled after Hydro Flask or Yeti but at a cheaper price.

“There’s so many more people out there who just need help and access to water, and we can all help give it to them,” Kane said.

Kane was connected with Joe Knopp who attends Walsh University in North Canton.

The two shared a passion for providing clean water to those that cannot access the necessity that many of us take for granted.

“Two 20-year-olds and a group of people in Ohio can change lives on the other side of the world, in another continent, in another country,” explained Kane.

Just last weekend, Knopp traveled to Uganda to build the first well Ripple funded.

He is still there monitoring the work being done to provide clean water to people in that village with plans to expand their efforts soon.

Knopp told Kane the children in the village are more than excited to use the well.

“Every day since they started construction and digging the well, [kids] run-up to the well every single morning,” says Kane, “And this is something [Knopp] learned since being there. And they go and check it and try to see when the water is coming out, and it’s like it’s Christmas essentially for them.”

Not only do these wells provide clean water, but they also keep women and children from traveling to find water in another village that may be a mile or more from their village.

Kane says predators are known to stalk those women and children as they search for water.

Having a well in their community keeps them from making that dangerous trip.

“Whether you’re buying a bottle or want to go out and start your own thing and make a change in the world, the one thing we’ve taken away is the power all of us have to do good,” explained Kane. “So, I hope people take that from this.”

By drinking your own clean water from a Ripple bottle, you are providing the means for another person to have access to clean water as we do.

That is the ripple effect Kane wants to create.

Each bottle is 32 ounces and costs $35, including shipping. Ripple is about to release new colors on its website.

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