Members of a Louisville organization are heading to Haiti to begin providing potable water to victims of Tuesday’s earthquake. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.
Bowin Tichenor, who is based in Santo Domingo, is the organization’s regional director for the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
“I’m supposed to be headed over with the Salvation Army to assess the situation and prepare for teams coming in next Wednesday to start setting up water purification systems,” he says.
The missionary organization plans to send three teams of six people to Port-au-Prince who will deploy nine purification systems.
Edge Outreach works to provide communities in many parts of the world with potable water. Even before the earthquake, many people had little access to safe drinking water.
“Most people get their water from hand pumps,” Tichenor says. “And after and earthquake, sometimes the water gets mixed and it becomes a witches’ brew of sorts of chemicals and water and sewage.”
Organization Officials say each system it is deploying consists of a 1,000-gallon tank powered by a car battery and solar panels. Organization officials say each system should be able to purify polluted water and serve up to 10,000 people a day.
“If the water doesn’t have chemicals in it, we have a system whereby we can attach our purifier to the hand pump itself,” Tichenor say, “and purify water directly from the well.”
Providing potable water is crutial in emergencies to prevent disease outbreaks, including cholera and dysentery.