Volunteers learn to repair hand pumps in Kenya - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Volunteers learn to repair hand pumps in Kenya

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)--The lack of clean drinking water has led to sickness and even death in parts of the world. 

That's why some volunteers are spending quality time at Waterstep in Old Louisville.  The organization works to eliminate the global water crisis. 

The hand pump repair class at Waterstep is needed because the water runs deep, but not very clean in Kenya.

"It is what everybody wants. If you ask anyone what is your priority? It is water," says Wesley Korir, former U of L long distance runner.

You may know the former track star as a long distance runner, who also won the Boston Marathon, but he is also a Kenyan Parliament member.

"Being a member of Parliament I can be able to help a lot of people," says Korir.

Korir is helping people by learning how to repair hand pumps.  The lack of clean drinking water was a big issue on the campaign trail earlier this year.

Korir  says, "All what women were asking for was please give us water....please give us water."

"I've made six medical mission trips to Kenya," says Doctor Bill Smock, LMPD's Police Surgeon.

Doctor Smock says during his trips to Kenya he has found one common problem.

"Water is probably responsible probably for 80 percent of the diseases that I was treating," says Smock.

But simply repairing hand pumps can provide clean drinking water to thousands of people in Kenya.

Smock says, "We expect to repair...hopefully close to 50 pumps, which will bring water to tens of thousands of people."

When this group leaves...they'll be joined by another group used to saving lives.

"There are 14 police officers who are going to volunteer their time...take their vacation to help the people of Kenya," says Smock.

And Smock says the people in Kenya appreciate the help.  "When we repair a pump people come out of the woodwork, the kids are smiling. Because what happens is if you don't have a pump in your village or at your school...you may have to walk two miles, three miles every day to get water."

"Makes me feel proud," says Korir.  He loves seeing his adopted city working to help people back in his homeland.  "This is the reason why I really got into politics was to help my people...through friends and family I met in Louisville."

"There will be two more training sessions in the next couple of weeks and then a group of about 20 people will leave Louisville and head to Kenya and start the job.


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