By Gianluca DElia
Cronkite News 

How one warrior mobilized to deliver water to the Navajo Nation


Last updated 11/22/2021 at 11:19am

Courtesy of MJ Harrison

When COVID-19 struck the Navajo Nation last year, Zoel Zohnnie realized elders and others were unable to access water stations. So he purchased a water tank and started hauling water to them.

PHOENIX-Not long after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in 2020, Zoel Zohnnie was laid off from his pipe welding job. But the Tuba City, Arizona native knew other members of the Navajo Nation were faring far worse.

To mitigate the effects of the pandemic, Zohnnie, 43, launched Water Warriors United, a project to deliver water across the reservation, where an estimated 30 percent of 174,000 residents lack running water and often must travel long distances to haul it back to their homes.

In the past year, Water Warriors United has seen robust crowdfunding and a growing team of volunteers. As...

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