Brian and WMI Haiti team hike to assess a water source

Brian Graham, one of our Project Engineers based in Charleston, recently returned from spending three months with our staff in Haiti. Before coming to Water Missions International, Brian spent several months with the Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries program in Haiti overseeing water and sanitation projects. During his stay, Brian picked up Creole, providing a smooth transition into the Haitian culture when he arrived mid July.

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Image of Denton Program Cargo Plane Taking Off

It’s a surprisingly cool and breezy morning at Water Missions International as the staff’s morning devotional takes a different turn. Informed of an impending shipment about to depart, dozens of staff and volunteers walk into the warehouse, join hands, and pray over the water treatment systems headed to various villages in Honduras. This is an ordinary procedure for our shipments overseas, yet this was not a normal shipment. This shipment was being taken to the Charleston Air Force Base to fly out on a military plane at no cost through the Denton Program.

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Estancia National High School students have safe water after Typhoon HaiyanTyphoon Haiyan (Yolanda) tore through the central Philippines nearly a year ago, destroying infrastructure, displacing families, and leaving school children without classrooms and often without hope.

As the anniversary of the storm approaches, the 3500 students at Estancia National High School located in the Albay province are able to once again focus on their education, thanks to the availability of safe drinking water provided through Water Missions International. Not only do the students benefit from clean water, they also allow the community on the premises each day once classes end to retrieve water for their families.

Dr. Gerry J. Tinson, principal of the school, leads this effort, explaining: “By providing safe and clean water to every student and citizen in this community… with God’s guidance and provisions… WMI [is] being a channel of blessing to others.”

Island Clinic Ebola Treatment Unit sign

09.24.2014 | Last Day in Liberia

With things at Dolo up and running and the plumbers installing chlorinators at ELWA, we finally felt confident leaving those projects alone for the day and venturing to do some additional assessments. The first of these took place today at the Island Clinic, on the north side of Monrovia. Evidently our guides had not called ahead to alert the proper personnel that we were coming because, at the gate of the ETU (Ebola Treatment Unit), we had to introduce ourselves and our purpose at least five different times before finally being allowed entrance.

We were advised by Dr. Deal prior to leaving the States that, under no circumstances, should we have to enter any of the ETU’s. However, the well that this particular facility depended on lay exactly in the center of what the clinic administration referred to as the ‘red zone’. We were escorted up onto the roof of the 4 story hospital, only one floor of which is housing patients and that only since Sunday. This allowed us access to the water tanks which were filling and used for washing and disinfecting.

From there we had a breathtaking view of the ocean and a little harbor framed by small village houses. It would have been the perfect tropical scene were it not for the trauma that also invaded our field of vision. From our vantage point, we also had full view into the Ebola ward and could see children and adults lying in a strewn about manner. As we watched, a red SUV pulled up and Liberian Red Cross workers proceeded to pull the lifeless body of a man out of the backseat and wrap him up. The war is very much still raging.

The design at Island Clinic was very encouraging though as accommodations were made in the design for adding different potency levels of chlorine to kill virus and disease. There is still much talk on the local radio and on the street of people who have not yet accepted the fact that Ebola is real. A million rumors have been circulated that the death and sickness is actually a government conspiracy or perhaps a curse from God. The fact that the hospitals are treating the disease with due respect and that people are bringing their sick loved ones in demonstrates that the tide is turning in educating the people of Monrovia and dispelling the lies.

Please pray that those in the outlying towns and far distant villages would also believe and that, by faith and deed, health will be restored.

Jeremy Continue Reading…

Meet Our Summer Interns

Lauren McCarter —  September 4, 2014

Interns

Over the summer Water Missions International (WMI) was proud to work with a talented group of young people in our Charleston international headquarters. This group was so outstanding we couldn’t resist the chance to introduce you to them! Continue Reading…

Dr. Jeff Deal, WMI’s Director of Health Studies, has returned after working on the ground in Liberia teaching health care workers how to use a germ-fighting robot (TRU-D Smart UVCTM) that disinfects hospitals. These are excerpts from his correspondence with us. While on the ground, he learned of the need for safe water, especially amongst the quarantined areas. Read about our response as we mobilize to help here.

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9.02.14 | Stateside

Jeff in Liberia

Dr. Jeff Deal with Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf

President Ellen Sirleaf with me and the Tru-D. She is a truly inspirational person and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, a prize she earned. Glad to be home now, but very concerned with conditions in West Africa. I have appreciated all of the encouragement and prayers. Continue Reading…

Water Missions International is continually amazed by the talented, passionate people and organizations who work alongside us in the fight against the global water crisis. We’re especially honored to have the support of award-winning portrait artist Robert Maniscalco.

The artist, based in West Ashley, S.C., recently launch a Kickstarter campaign for his work with Water Missions International. Manisalco plans to take a trip to Haiti where he will accompany Water Missions International staff in their work to bring safe water to those in need. His Kickstarter campaign will fund his travel and other expenses.

Christelle

Robert Maniscalco’s “Christelle” is part of Water Missions International’s permanent collection.

While in Haiti, he will document and interview Haitians he meets in communities where Water Missions International works. His goal is to turn his time in Haiti into reference material for 10 to 15 paintings that would be part of a traveling exhibit: “The Quench Project”. Maniscalco hopes that this special exhibit will be a call to action for the increasing need and awareness for Water Missions International.

“My purpose while there is to come away with as full a sense of the experience of the Haitian people and the plight of all people struggling with access to this basic human necessity, this basic human right, and express/respond to that authentically on canvas and in the written word,” Manisalco explains on his Kickstarter page.

Once the work is finished, the exhibit will launch at Water Missions International’s headquarters in Charleston, S.C. For more on Maniscalco’s project, visit his Kickstarter page at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1258824272/the-quench-project-in-haiti-paintings-of-hope-and

Dr. Jeffery Deal, Director of Health Impact Studies at Water Missions International, departed today from Charleston, S.C. en route to the Republic of Liberia in response to a request from the office of the President of Liberia for assistance in fighting the deadly Ebola virus. Dr. Deal invented a device called TRU-D Smart UVC™ that delivers a lethal dose of UV-C light to disinfect health care environments. When he arrives in Liberia he will assemble two of these devices and instruct health care workers at JRK Hospital and ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Republic of Liberia on how to use them. The CDC stresses that diligent environmental disinfection and safe handling of potentially contaminated materials is paramount in settings where patients with the Ebola virus have been.

Ebola Relief

Dr. Jeffery Deal with his TRU-D Smart UVC™ device

“We developed TRU-D SmartUVC™ technology to combat the devastating effects of hospital acquired infections,” Dr. Deal said. “Unlike many diseases, Ebola strikes hospital workers more than any other group, making it the ultimate hospital acquired infection.”

Dr. Deal will spend approximately two weeks in Liberia working with hospital staff to operate the devices and ensure that they are successfully disinfecting the hospital rooms. The devices will then remain in the area to be deployed as needed in the Republic of Liberia.

The TRU-D SmartUVC™ technology is turned on using a remote control. Once activated, it delivers a lethal dose of UV-C light from a central location in the room. The UV light energy modifies the DNA structure of viral pathogens, like Ebola, so that they cannot reproduce.

“The beauty of the TRU-D SmartUVC™ is that it is such a sophisticated device that can calculate variables associated with any room,” said Dr. Deal, “but it is also incredible easy to use and even talks the user through the activation steps to ensure that there is no room for error.”

We ask for your prayers for Dr. Deal while he is in Liberia, as well as for those affected by the outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa.

In June, Water Missions International responded to an emergency aid request in Uganda. Cholera had broken out in the fishing community of Mulwanda on the shores of Lake Victoria. After two people died and more than 100 people caught the deadly disease, local government leaders reached out to Water Missions International asking for help.

Staff from our Uganda country program office quickly mobilized a response, installing a Living Water™ Treatment System that filtered and treated the water of Lake Victoria, rendering it safe to drink for all 2,500 people in the community. Immediately, cases of cholera stopped appearing.

Children Collect Safe Water

Children in Mulwanda, Uganda, collect safe water from their disaster response system.

Now cholera has been eradicated from Mulwanda! The people there cannot begin to express their joy and happiness over the difference that safe water has made in their lives.

Now that the disaster has abated, our staff has assessed the community’s long-term needs and are currently putting together a budget and a plan for a safe water solution that will prove safe water for decades to come.

Our goal is to ensure that the people of Mulwanda never have to fear waterborne diseases like cholera again. As we continue to work with this community, we’ll update you on the status of their safe water project.

1. 40% of the World Lacks a Toilet

Roughly 2.65 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation facilities. That’s one in three people who don’t have a toilet.

Mexico Sanitation

This makeshift latrine in Mexico is a far cry from adequate sanitation.

2. Toilets Promote Gender Equality

In many places around the world, girls drop out of school when they hit puberty, simply because of the bathrooms. Without a toilet and washing facility that’s private, safe, or available, girls avoid going to school because of menstrual health and lack of adequate facilities. Access to adequate sanitation empowers girls to attend school and take advantage of the opportunities education brings. Continue Reading…