EcoWatch Journal — February/March 2011
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Team Hope And The 2011 Race Across America
Andre Husain

An adventurous team of endurance cyclists will enter into the 30th Race Across America this June. The team is comprised of three cyclists from Northeast Ohio, one from Los Angeles, and a fifth teammate from Cape Town, South Africa.

According to team captain Andre Husain, “At the heart of our decision to enter this event is our charitable partner, Blue Planet Network. We believe strongly in Blue Planet’s mission of providing sustainable safe drinking water to 200 million people in rural communities of developing nations in the next 20 years.”

Since 2006, Blue Planet Network, a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit, has supported more than $25 million in sustainable water and sanitation projects through its breakthrough global online network and has directly financed more than $1.25 million in projects, impacting nearly 350,000 people in 20 countries.

Team members Rich Hinkel, Martin Lorton, Alex Galindo, Larry Smith and Andre Husain will spend the winter training and preparing for the rigorous event that lies ahead. The route is more than 3,000 miles, touching 14 states and climbing more than 100,000 feet. Team Hope plans to race from Oceanside, Calif., to Annapolis, Md., in less than seven days. Race Across America veteran, and Team Hope crew chief Kat Espino said, “The team will face harsh conditions ranging from mountain cold to desert heat on their coast to coast sprint.” This is certainly a small price to pay considering:

• 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water, roughly one-sixth of the world’s population.

• 2.2 million people in developing countries, most of them children, die every year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.

• Some 6,000 children die every day from disease associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.

• The United Nations estimates it would cost an additional $30 billion to provide access to safe water to the entire planet. That’s a third of what the world spends in a year on bottled water.

• The average American uses 100 to 175 gallons of water per day. The average African uses 5 gallons per day.
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