Man walking from New Jersey to California to promote access to clean water

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- It’s hard to miss James Leitner; he’s hauling two massive jugs of water behind him.

The New Jersey man is walking across the country to raise money to build clean water wells in parts of central Africa. Monday, he made a stop in Buffalo.

Leitner’s passion for clean water access started when he was just a teenager, and learned how big a it was. Since then, he’s dedicated most of his time to raising money, promoting awareness, and volunteering to help poor countries establish and maintain clean water wells.

He traveled to Tanzania in 2013 where one of the wells was built. Leitner is working with the Philadelphia Serengeti Alliance on this latest fundraising effort.

The New Jersey native has also been running a marathon a month carrying 45 lbs of water; he’ll do this for an entire year.

And then of course there’s this major trek; the distance he says, is symbolic for how long people in Tanzania must travel to obtain clean water

“I’m walking across country from Princeton, New Jersey to San Francisco, California which is a total journey of 3,200 miles, which is symbolic because it’s the same amount of miles someone would walk in Tanzania for one year,” Leitner tells News 4.

Tuesday, Leitner will continue on his journey and walk over the Peace Bridge on his way to Detroit.

His fundraising goal is $75,000. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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