4,000 children die every day from illnesses related to impure drinking water, according to the World Health Organization. Meal-a-Day considers providing pure water to people in developing countries one of the most important services we can be involved in.
Recently, a $25,000 grant was made to Pure Water for the World in Haiti to help bring water filters and sanitation education to 1,000 homes in Cité Soleil. Cité Soleil is a sprawling slum near the Port au Prince airport that is home to 250,000 people. It has no sewer or water system and is considered to be one of the poorest and most desperate places on earth.
Meal-a-Day directors believe it’s important to follow up on how the money contributors give is used. During a recent trip to Haiti we were able to go to Cité Soleil to see the water filters in action and talk with some of the people benefitting from this program. We also visited the Pure Water for the World assembly shop to learn how the filters are made and stopped by the newly refurbished PWW lab to see how the filters are constantly checked for effectiveness.
Education and monitoring are essential components of Pure Water for the World’s program. Community volunteers learn how to make sure that the filters are kept working perfectly. Each volunteer becomes responsible for five families. They collect samples of water to be tested in PWW’s lab, monitor how people are using the filters to avoid contamination and instruct owners on proper sanitation. Several people we talked with reported a dramatic decrease in episodes of diarrhea and other stomach ailments after using the filters and following a sanitary regimen in their homes for several months.