First Water Supports Water Sustainability in Hispaniola

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In developing countries, the First Water line of water purification products are being extensively implemented to provide safe drinking water at the community level. The technology has been the choice for safe water projects in small communities and villages in over 120 countries around the world. Designed specifically to adapt to the conditions and situations found in the developing world, the First Water product line has a solution to fit each community’s unique situation and budget. With a focus on Hispaniola, First Water has been teaming with partners such as World Water Relief, Hope for Haiti, World Vision and Rotary International to bring safe drinking water to the people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic for years.

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In developing countries, the First Water line of water purification products are being extensively implemented to provide safe drinking water at the community level. The technology has been the choice for safe water projects in small communities and villages in over 120 countries around the world. Designed specifically to adapt to the conditions and situations found in the developing world, the First Water product line has a solution to fit each community’s unique situation and budget. With a focus on Hispaniola, First Water has been teaming with partners such as World Water Relief, Hope for Haiti, World Vision and Rotary International to bring safe drinking water to the people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic for years.

Bateys are the name given to the remote encampments of sugar cane workers and Haitian refugees found in the Dominican Republic. With typically between 1,500 and 3,000 inhabitants, living conditions are deplorable and clean water is extremely hard to come by. Many families are forced to use irrigation and drainage ditches or contaminated well water as their daily water supply for cooking, bathing and drinking. The Bateys that do have water tanks or municipal supply are quickly compromised by contaminated plumbing and insufficient infrastructure.

Contaminated water ravishes families, particularly the children, with gastrointestinal diseases and parasites. Water borne illness inhibits the quality of life and makes simple things such as education immensely challenging. First Water has deployed systems in dozens of Bateys and worked with local communities and clinics on an on-going basis. Local doctors have documented that over 90% of their case load is from waterborne illness. After deploying the patented First Water purification system, the number of waterborne disease cases from drinking contaminated water has been eliminated.

Across the island, Haiti struggles as one of the world's poorest nations. Infrastructure is unreliable and many communities do not even have access to power on a regular basis. Partnered with Hope for Haiti, First Water has identified villages that suffer from annual flooding and deployed water purification systems to support community development. The systems are uniquely suited for Haiti because of their solar capability and many of the units have continued to operate exclusively on solar power.

“Returned last week from Haiti. It was quite exciting to hear Sr. Leona (the principal) talk about the decrease in absences at school due to water-borne illness because of the clean water from your system. It was a huge problem before. She had tears in her eyes as she talked about the children. ” -- Cindy Schuetz, Friends of the Children, International

In the wake of the recent Haiti earthquake, First Water immediately deployed over 50 portable water purification systems providing clean water for over 100,000 people. Key locations were identified and the systems were distributed to field hospitals, hospitals, orphanages and churches. Not only did the systems support the Haitian citizens in the aftermath, they also provided clean water for responding aid organizations and relief workers. As the emergency moved from an immediate need for portable systems to those that would better address refugee sustainability, larger volume and more permanent systems were deployed. In the long recovery from the devastating earthquake, First Water will continue to monitor the need for clean water and provide communities clean water as possible.

First Water is committed to supporting the developing world by providing clean water to those who need it most. The systems provided are reliable, simple and cost effective. They are easily attainable as a fund raising project from a church, club or community organization. Once deployed, maintenance is minimal and can be completed by the community residents. First Water would be happy to discuss any effort to help bring much needed water relief to so many in need. Please visit us at http://firstwaterinc.com .

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Craig Morgan
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