Villanova Documentary Highlights Tanzanian Village’s Struggle for Water

David Bjorkgren
Villanova University senior Avery Smith, with locals in Malolo, Singida, Tanzania. Image via Villanova University.

Villanova University assistant professor Hezekiah Lewis was shocked to see women and children digging water out of the ground in Tanzania last summer, writes Mari A. Schaefer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“In 2019, this is still happening in the world.”

From his observations came a 15 minute documentary from his students highlighting that 26 million Tanzanians do not have clean drinking water.

“From the Ground Up”, is the latest film out of Villanova University’s Social Justice Documentary Program.

It premiered April 23 and will have an official screening in September.

Nearly two dozen student filmmakers spent two and a half weeks with the villagers of Malolo in the semiarid region of Singida in Tanzania to get footage for the film.

It opens with Adija, a 60-plus-year-old woman.

“When I wake up, the first thing is water,” said Adija.

The film followed her for miles to the only source of available water; a fly-infested pit. Villagers scoop the off-color water into water buckets for washing, cooking and drinking.

The film was directed by two seniors, Trent Zulkiewicz and Will Brenninkmeyer.

They hope to raise $90,000 to fund two wells for the villages they visited.

Read more about this Villanova student documentary here.

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