Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Hoffman Institute Researches West African Water Crisis

 

 

well1 500

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (3/25/13) – In February 2013, Hoffman Environmental Research Institute staff member and graduate student Jonathan (Joneo) Oglesby journeyed to Niger, West Africa, to conduct preliminary thesis research with the Songhai people.

The focus of the trip was to gain a better understanding of how the Songhai cope with the water cycle, sterilization of water, water sanitation and water hygiene.
 
Oglesby conducted surveys and interviewed workers in remote villages along the Niger River. The data acquired will be used as the foundation for future thesis work that will include the creation and dissemination of water education materials for the Songhai. The goal is their eventual dissemination to other Least Developed Countries in the region and around the world, including to a second study site at Gales Point, Manatee, in Belize starting this summer.
 
Through his research, Oglesby is working with his advisor, Dr. Leslie North, to develop and evaluate successful avenues for informal education practices in improving water education in these communities to promote sustainability and water resource protection, as well as to improve economic and educational opportunities through capacity building. He will use data visualization techniques incorporating science and art to cut across culture, language and geography to teach these communities about water sanitation and conservation.
 
Niger is a landlocked state of West Africa located mostly within the Sahara desert. It relies heavily on foreign aid to maintain sustenance, existing in one of the harshest political and environmental climates in the world. Pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea, coupled with malnutrition and food insecurity, give rise to high mortality rates. “I want to empower groups in developing nations, in particular the women and girls of the Songhai, by educating them about water,” Oglesby said. “I’m passionate about water and passionate about the Songhai. I decided to start here and start now.”
 
Many of the women Oglesby interviewed during this initial research trip spoke of the daily arduous task of carrying water to and from the river to their homes, often starting before dawn and not finishing until after dark. Some even explained it’s as if they never stop. Most gather water from sources that are heavily used and negatively impacted by people and animals. The water is then used without any treatment for consumption. For many communities in Niger, water collection takes up so much time that women and children are often unable to find time to go to school or work to support their families.

well2

 

Oglesby will return soon to continue his work and envisions a positive, if audacious, endeavor. “I can’t change the world,” he noted. “But I hope I can change the quality of it, one person at a time.”
 
He is starting a website, www.fofohari.org, as the foundation for an organization to address water education for developing countries. The educational tools developed and created for this research will be disseminated through this site, and it will be used to further communicate techniques for water education in developing areas.
 
Dr. North, Associate Director of the Hoffman Institute, said: “Joneo’s research embodies the true spirit of integrating science and education to make a difference in communities. The geography of water education is understudied, and certainly of pressing importance as water resources diminish in the face of population growth and climate change.
 
“This will be a great step in working to develop and study effective informal education tools aimed toward understanding how to overcome these spatial and cultural differences,” she said.

Dr. David Keeling, head of WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology Department, noted: “Faculty and students in the Hoffman Institute exemplify the WKU spirit of international reach, with active research projects underway across the planet. Science is of little use practically unless it can change people’s lives for the better. Joneo’s research is a wonderful example of how addressing a resource such as water, that we take so much for granted here in the U.S., in a developing country like Niger can literally save lives and boost the capacity of women and children to build sustainable communities for the future.”

well3

For information about the project, contact Jonathan Oglesby at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Dr. Leslie North at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by WKU
Photo provided by Western Kentucky University

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

In Other News...

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 23, 2014

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (7/23/14) — Crime Stoppers of Hopkins County Top Most Wanted has issued a new list. Crime Stoppers… Read More

Warrant Arrest

HENDERSON, Ky. (7/23/14) — On July 22, 2014, Officer Griffith responded to a non-injury traffic accident at 177 North… Read More
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 22, 2014 3665

Madisonville Woman Charged With…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 21, 2014 2610

Five Sent to Hospital After Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1958

Business Spotlight - Painted Window Aims…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 21, 2014 1888

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - July…

in News by Madisonville Police Department
July 23, 2014 1387

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 23,…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 22, 2014 3665

Madisonville Woman Charged With…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 23, 2014 1387

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 23,…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers
July 21, 2014 1172

Madisonville Fire Chief Announces…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1117

Three Injured in Three-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 905

Families Upset About Piney Groves…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 21, 2014 1287

Portion of Southeastern Parkway Closed…

in News by Beth Cecil
July 22, 2014 958

Alliance for a Drug Free Owensboro and…

in News by Carla Shelton
July 22, 2014 879

Daviess County Traffic Advisory

in News by Keith Todd
July 23, 2014 802

Owensboro Neighborhood Alliance Meeting…

in News by Sherry Girten
July 21, 2014 486

Strahan Selected as Cravens Elementary…

in Top Stories by Julie Ellis

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 21, 2014 2610

Five Sent to Hospital After Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1958

Business Spotlight - Painted Window Aims…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 23, 2014 1313

Greenville Family Loses Home, Possessions…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 23, 2014 889

Swinging for Sadie Raises $6,000 for…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03