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Edmonton Cyclist to Ride Across Ethiopia to Save Lives

by Ben Andrew

January 09, 2017 (Edmonton, AB) – Jeffrey Hansen-Carlson of Edmonton is embarking on a mission to raise funds for the development of clean drinking water infrastructure in Southern Ethiopia. Hansen-Carlson will ride his bike 800km across the Bonke Region of Ethiopia, and aims to raise awareness and gain support to meet his fundraising goal of $1,000,000.

Jeffrey Hansen-Carlson  ©  We Ride Africia
Hansen-Carlson traveled to Ethiopia last year with HOPE International Development Agency. It was here that he was first exposed to the significant lack of clean water infrastructure that many in Ethiopia face. “I pledged $1,000,000 so I will be riding my bike across Ethiopia every January until I deliver,” said Jeffrey Hansen-Carlson.

Water is a means to empowering women in Gezesso, a remote village deep within the rugged mountains of southern Ethiopia. We are going to ride our bikes there  ©  We Ride Africia
Recently interviewed by CTV it is Hansen-Carlson’s goal to bring some adventurers with him when he returns in 2018, to share the first hand experiences of people living in small villages without clean drinking water. To join the adventure, you must commit to raising $25,000. In addition donations can currently be made directly towards two projects through the We Ride Africa website.

This picture captures everything to answer the question we get often, 'why?'  ©  We Ride Africia
The first project will assist the community of Gezesso cap three springs, build infrastructure to store and transport the water, train 10 caretakers, and build 340 latrines among other goals. The second project in Kalebo Laka will again cap three springs and bring sustainable infrastructure, as well as provide knowledge to allow the local community to care of the system.

We will be riding in Geresse, deep in Southern Ethiopia, reconnecting with these people and talking about water  ©  We Ride Africia
HOPE International also works with families to teach them simple steps that can keep them healthier, such as washing their hands, using shelving in their homes, and digging latrines.

Just outside of Arba Minch a drying creek bed brings people and cattle together to drink and bathe  ©  We Ride Africia
Hansen-Carlson’s new journey in 2018 will be broken up into four stages, most taking two days to complete. The 440km Stage One from Addis Ababa to Arba Minch will take three days. Hansen-Carlson is using a Cannondale Fat CAAD 2 named ‘Hank’ with bike packing gear to undertake this adventure.

This is a bike that is capable of getting someone to the poorest and most remote corners of Africa  ©  We Ride Africia
“How can you make any progress on any dimension if you don’t even have clean water?” he said in a CTV interview. Hansen-Carlson will travel with Jeff Buhr and together the two have raised $70,000 so far. Buhr will document the journey through a lens and on social media.

Hansen-Carlson and Buhr will be departing this coming January 11.

The campaign is looking for donations of all sizes. A $100 contribution will provide clean water for one person, for the rest of their life. To make a donation click here.

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