Chris Dudley, our disaster services response director and Raul Manuel, our Philippines national director, spend the early hours of the morning leading a search for five gallon containers to pair with portable water filtration kits that Dudley brought to the Philippines in his personal luggage. Dudley traveled to the Philippines immediately after Typhoon Haiyan to join Manuel in directing our disaster response efforts there. Later that day, Dudley, Manuel and a Convoy of Hope disaster response team would travel six hours by car, then boat to deliver and install these water filtration units on the small, devastated island of Malapascua. Hundreds of filtration units have been distributed since.
“Water filtration units are one of the first items on our list for International disasters,” says Nick Wiersma, our community services director, who’s been one of the first on the ground in Convoy of Hope’s responses to countries like the Philippines, Haiti, Japan, Samoa and others. “The body can survive far longer without food than it can without water.”
The lack of water is not the only problem, the presence of compromised water sources can cause the rapid spread of waterborne illnesses like cholera. Catastrophic events can cause water contamination — as with the 2010, Haiti Earthquake — but contaminated or restricted water supply is a daily reality for the one out of every eight people that lack access to clean drinking water.
“Water goes hand-in-hand with nutritious food in our Children’s Feeding Initiative,” says David Edson, our international programs project manager who is responsible for investigating sustainable, water-based solutions for Convoy of Hope’s international work. “It’s not enough to feed a child if they’re losing their nutrients to waterborne illnesses.”
Whether in responding to natural disasters or providing a clean water source for children, we have utilized thousands of these water filtration units that literally transform water that would cause sickness into water that sustains life.
Kind Kart, has set up an Amazon registry with the sole purpose of providing people with a way to buy and send water filtration units with Convoy of Hope to the Philippines. The campaign leads up to World Water Day on March 22, 2014. It literally takes a few clicks to provide a family with up to 150 gallons of clean drinking water each day.