A case of bottled water (400ml) costs around $36 and may last a family about two weeks before the empty bottles end up in a landfill where they would take hundreds of years to decompose. But, a donation of US$30 or TT$180 can literally save lives by guaranteeing that a destitute family living in Haiti has access to clean and safe water; not for two weeks or one month, but for as much as five years.
Recently, FilterPure partnered with another NGO – Global Effect, and established a factory in Jacmel, Haiti where Haitians themselves will be employed to build, manufacture and distribute the life-saving water filters. With a last place ranking on the water poverty index scale, Haiti has the worst access to clean water in the world according to World Water Council. As a result, Haiti has the highest infant mortality rate in the Americas. The Pan American Health Organisation has reported that more than half of all deaths in Haiti were as a result of contaminated water.
’Knowing mothers have to watch their babies die from something preventable as diarrhea is very hard to watch,’ executive director, of FilterPure, Lisa Ballantine told the Express in a phone interview.
The use of the filter is simple, water is poured and filtered through the ceramic pot where it is collected and stored in a five gallon bucket with a tap at the bottom from which a family can drink safe water. In the first week following the devastating January 12th earthquake in Haiti, FilterPure distributed more than 700 filters.
The ceramic water filters not only provide Haitians with clean, safe water, but the filters are produced locally thereby providing much needed employment for Haitians.
’Access to clean water is going to be the most critical issue facing Haiti which we in the developing world have to respond to. It can be resolved,’ said Ballantine.
To find out more about or to donate, visit: FilterPure
Source: Trinidad and Tobago express, 19 Jun 2010
By Kimberly Castillo