Water Warriors United Delivers Life-Saving Water

Posted By on June 10, 2020

Due to the high number of coronavirus cases on the Navajo Nation and other limiting financial and transportation factors, many families find it difficult to make the drive to designated water pumps. That’s why Zoel Zohnnie, a Navajo actor and active community member, founded Water Warriors United, a COVID-19 relief campaign committed to safely delivering life-saving water to the elderly and families in need on the Navajo Reservation.

Together with his Water Warrior volunteer drivers, Leon Curley and CB Barton, Zohnnie travels along remote, unmarked roads to help those in the greatest need. “It is rewarding to see the smiles on our grandmas’ and grandpas’ faces as we deliver water to them. It is our top priority to keep our elders and families at high risk home and safe during this pandemic,” Zohnnie said.

Their greatest challenge is that the Navajo Nation encompasses 27,425 square miles — about the size of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined — with approximately 170,000 people calling some part of the Navajo “Rez” home. It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of the people do not have access to running water with which to wash their hands, drink and to clean and disinfect their homes.

In one month, Water Warriors United gathered enough donations to purchase four flatbed trailers and 175 new 55-gallon water barrels to help Natives throughout the Reservation. However, Zohnnie and his team still receive messages from community members asking when they will deliver water in their small towns. Click here to learn more.

Karen Werner

About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.