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Fighting Water Crisis In Africa With Reggae

Inadequate access to clean drinking water is a dilemma that impacts more than 780 million people globally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And Sub-Saharan Africa is among the areas most affected by water scarcity; 300 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to clean water, according to the United Nations-Water.

Sahel Revival is a local nonprofit determined to make clean water more accessible in poor Sub-Saharan Africa communities. And they're using Reggae music to help achieve this goal.

This Saturday, the first annual "Live Up Fest" will take place at the Hi-Tone (422-444 N. Cleveland) to help raise awareness and support for Sahel Revival's battle against water scarcity. The event will feature a variety of Reggae artists including Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, Roots of a Rebellion, The LTG, Kween Jasira, Juju Bushman, and more. It will start at 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. A portion of the funds raised will go toward constructing a water well in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"I want people to have fun and become aware [of the water crisis]," said Abdoul Ba, founder of Sahel Revival. "In case [attendees] would like to support us, they can go to our website, They can get involved by volunteering, helping us spread the word, or donating. Usually, a gift offered of $20 can give one person water for a long time. If you look at it holistically and globally, a water well can benefit 300 people. Twenty dollars is not much, but it can have a big impact on life in Sub-Saharan Africa."

Ba hails from the Sub-Saharan African country Mauritania, an area largely covered by the Sahara desert. Only around 50 percent of its population has access to clean water and another 30 percent suffers from unemployment, according to Christian humanitarian organization, World Vision.

Ba hopes Sahel Revival can help bring social change and better living conditions to those affected by inadequate access to free clean water in his native country and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.

“In my city and country everybody is affected by water shortages,” Ba said. “My city suffers from yearly cholera outbreaks that leave many people dead, especially children. It’s impossible to be in my city and country without seeing [and] feeling the water shortage. [There’s also] food shortages. Where there's no water, there will be no food, so malnutrition is also a very present problem.”

Sahel Revival in presenting the event in conjunction with Chinese Connection Dub Embassy and Brister Street Productions.

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