Climb for Clean Water Summits

Sixteen climbers summit Mt. Kilimanjaro today to raise awareness and funds for 2,500 people without safe water and sanitation.

Last week, sixteen Climb for Clean Water 2016 team members from around the country began their journey to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Team members spent the year training for the physical and mental challenges of mountaineering as well as bringing hundreds of others into their quest to raise awareness of the global water and sanitation crisis. Together the team reached their goal of raising enough money to bring over 2,500 people water and sanitation for life.

Climb for Clean Water team members include individuals who have committed to raising $6,000, enough to bring water, sanitation, and hygiene to a community. “What’s really cool about this is that $6,000 is the amount of money it costs to install a drinking water well, so we know this money has a specific purpose and that it will save lives,” says team member Jeff Crider, who is climbing with his son, Max.

In 2015 an estimated 663 million people globally did not have access to safe water. Nearly half of them live in Africa, and four out of five live in rural areas. There are also nearly 700 million people in Africa that do not have a toilet or latrine. Without safe water and improved sanitation, vulnerable children and families suffer from preventable diseases, missing out on education and productive labor. Households spend hours each day collecting safe water or finding a safe place to go to the bathroom, and families spend a large portion of their income on medical care for the sick. [Citation, pp 4-15]

Team members will face many challenges in their quest. At 19,341 feet, Mt. Kilimajaro, in Tanzania, is the tallest mountain in Africa and only 1,000 feet shorter than Denali (Mt. McKinley) in Alaska. The seven-day return trek to the summit covers various terrains, from rainforest to arctic zones, to “the rooftop of Africa.”

After the climb, Team Leader Daren Wendell along with the Crider’s and others, including fellow team member Doug Headrick, who is currently serving as President on Lifewater’s Board of Directors, will visit communities in the remote region of Ethiopia where Climb for Clean Water 2016’s impact will serve thousands.

Wendell, an endurance athlete and Lifewater’s Community & Outreach Manager, says, “It’s truly incredible to see the impact that 16 people can have in serving vulnerable kids and families through Lifewater. To date the team has raised over $100,000, serving 2,500 people with safe water and I couldn’t be more excited.”

To donate to the team or any member, click here.

If you are interested in joining the 2017 Climb for Clean Water team, get details and sign up here.


Lifewater International is a non-profit Christian water development organization dedicated to effectively serving vulnerable children and families by partnering with underserved communities to overcome water poverty. With experience in more than 40 countries since 1977, Lifewater serves people of all faiths, focusing on contextually appropriate water sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) development. For more information, contact Christine Zurbach ( or visit Lifewater International is based in San Luis Obispo, CA

Photo credit: Jeff Crider Photography

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