Safe Water is flowing in Dolo Town, Monrovia, Liberia

09.21.2014 | Dolo Town, outside of Monrovia

Safe water is running at Dolo Town!!!

We initially had some trouble with too many fine particles in the water which refused to be filtered by our Living Water™ Treatment System. However, the addition of Alum hit the spot and Pat’s liquid chlorine mixture was the icing on the cake. The villagers were a little hesitant at first and asked us if they could do their laundry in the water. However, remembering Molly Greene’s precedent set so many years ago in Honduras, I walked up and took a drink from the tap and then everyone wanted to try it. Huge victory!!!

Another little bonus to the day was finally getting a couple of the little kids in the town to smile. I had been playing with them when time allowed and trying to break through to those stoic little faces. I got a couple of them to hold up the Water Missions banner for a photo and was so glad to see them running around with grins.

Dolo Town Drinking Safe Water in Monrovia, Liberia
We look forward to training more of the town’s people tomorrow as well as some of the various ministries who have played a role in the success. We will also be revisiting ELWA hospital to hopefully install some chlorinators that will distribute safe water throughout the three Ebola Treatment Units currently operating there.

Pray that we have all the equipment necessary to put these into use and that those we train will soak up the information and be able to push the safe and Living water forward.

Jeremy

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09.20.2014 | Monrovia, Liberia

Today was a day off for us. We went to church with Zeela. Everyone going to church is required to wash their hands with chlorinated water prior to going into the building. In addition everyone’s temperature is checked and no one with a fever is allowed to enter.

Even at church we met someone who remembers Dr. Deal. A lady approached us as we entered a asked if we were from Water Missions. She said had heard from Dr. Deal while he was here that WMI needed chlorine tablets for the water treatment equipment. This woman had located and purchased tablets on her own and had them in her car hoping that she would find us. Unfortunately they were not the correct type of chlorine.

But the initiative of this woman is an example of the spirit and determination we see among many of the Liberians. There is concern and even fear because of Ebola but there is also a determination to do what needs to be done and an expectation that they will overcome this disease. It is truly remarkable.

Pat

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The Gatekeepers of ELWA Hospital, Monrovia, Liberia

09.19.2014 | ELWA Hospital, Monrovia, Liberia

Today we received a call from the person in charge of the water systems at the ELWA (we learned today that ELWA stands for Eternal Love Winning Africa) hospital and Ebola units. Because the ELWA Ebola treatment units are being expanded rapidly and this location is now the largest Ebola treatment center in Liberia, they are having problems keeping up with the increasing demand for water. There are currently two pumping stations that deliver water to three separate water distribution systems.

We were able to assess the condition of four different wells and determine that they could seriously benefit from our Potable Water Chlorinators as well as a Grundfos pump. While they were dropping chlorine into the well every other week, the levels were not up to World Health Organization standards. This was particularly disconcerting at one well where piles of trash were littered all around and, again, no bathrooms were evident. The entire hospital gets its drinking water from these wells.

We developed a plan to install three stand-alone chlorinators, one on each distribution system. We have two chlorinators in country now that came with the air shipment. We will return to ELWA next week to install these two and train their maintenance people so that they will be able to install the third when the sea shipment arrives. This shipment also contains the chlorine tablets that will be needed to keep the water safe for the future.  We left chlorine test strips with the staff at ELWA. We also plan to give them a full disaster response test kit before we leave so that they can do a better job of monitoring the water at this facility from now on. We will also leave them at least one of our spare submersible pumps since they have no spares of any kind and they are barely supplying the water demand now and the demand is increasing as Doctors Without Borders brings more Ebola units on line.

As we walked from one well to another, a truck pulled up with three men in the front and another in the back. We were quickly able to determine that the man in the back was being brought to the hospital by his friends. He was in fairly good shape although there was an all-too-familiar fatigued slump to his shoulders. The aid workers outside the gate began grilling him,

“Are you vomiting?”

“No.”

“Fever?”

“Yes.”

As we drove back by the front gate to the comfort of our hotel, a crowd had developed to watch as four aid workers dressed in yellow full bodied protective gear were carrying the last shroud-wrapped body inside the gate. Evidently, an additional wing of the hospital has been opened which I can only count as a blessing even though it was too late for some.

It is good to know that we will be helping this new hospital wing and their workers to provide safe water to those with Ebola and those without and that we will be helping to prevent disease in Dolo Town. Safe water will be flowing for many very soon.

Pat and Jeremy

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WMI Staff Bring Safe Water to Liberia

09.18.2014 | Dolo Town, outside of Monrovia

We have identified our first site to implement safe water: Dolo Town! The community is near the airport about 50km outside of downtown Monrovia and has recently been lifted from Ebola quarantine. Most people in the community currently get their water from shallow wells, which are highly susceptible to bacteria.

image of Contaminated Well in Dolo Town, Monrovia, Liberia

We arrived at the airport to collect our Living Water™ Treatment System and other goods and, to our dismay, found a minivan waiting to make the pickup. I recognize that many readers likely don’t know the size of our treatment system but suffice it to say, Pat, on all of his many Disaster Response adventures, had never before seen a minivan make the tote. I, with all the tact of hydrogen bomb, laughed out loud when the driver explained that the system was going in the back of this minivan. However, ten minutes later, with no fewer than fifteen Liberian forklifts and a half-inch to spare, the system was snugly in place and riding on the axles.

LWTS transported to Dolo Town, Monrovia, Liberia

I have to backup at this point. A couple of days ago, I commented about the relief of seeing my bag safely spinning on the carousel at the airport. This does not begin to compare with the sheer bliss of walking around a shipment that WMI Volunteers put their sweat and fingerprints all over and seeing each and every item exactly as we packed it two weeks ago. There’s the spare parts box that Mac and Ted painstakingly put together; the tool kit that Joe patiently supervised; the totalizer that cranky Tom S. put together from his favorite stool; the extra chlorinators that Ed, Dr. T, and Rich meticulously lined up; and the extra pumps that we know will work because Mike S. and the Gene Team wired them up just the other day. I’ll bet if a crime lab dusted this stuff for prints, they’d find 70 different sets. I guess that’s one little part of what makes WMI such a cool family to be a part of. (Oh yeah, and I didn’t forget Bob and Art’s pressure relief valves…)

image of WMI Volunteers loading water treatment equipment bound for Monrovia, Liberia

In many ways, Pat and I are the lucky ones because we’ll actually get to slap the finishing touches on that system tomorrow and see the amazed faces of the folks in Dolo as they see their well once again producing safe water. I could take a thousand pictures and write a thousand more words and still not convey the pride I feel in the volunteers and staff that make those drops possible. God has truly blessed us in refining us to the point of being found worthy to work in this one little part of his Kingdom.

Jeremy

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Liberians Block Road to Alert Police of Ebola Deaths

09.17.2014 | Outside of Monrovia, Liberia

Years of military training have taught me to be very conscious of my surroundings, particularly when driving. In Iraq, we became adept at recognizing the signs of a potential roadside danger and I still occasionally catch myself swerving to avoid objects in the road that my mind tells me could be explosive devices. So today, when driving to potential sites to assess the water sources, we were forced to come to a quick halt because of a group of young men deliberately placing objects in the road and my mind instantly began signaling to exercise all caution. However, a quick analysis of these individuals told a far different story than any intent to cause harm. Rather, they methodically stacked limbs and furniture in the road with what I can only label as a sense of sadness.

As a host of frustrated drivers honked and yelled, they began pointing to the village just off the highway. Their reason for taking such drastic action being that four of their friends and loved ones lay dead and it had been days since they requested to have the bodies removed. As soon as the police arrived, they explained their predicament and just as forlornly removed the debris from the road. Our driver had attempted to go around the impromptu roadblock and gotten our vehicle stuck. To reinforce their desire to perform no ill will, many of the offenders came and lifted our truck out of the ditch and placed it back on the road to continue on our way. Not quite the scene I was trained to react to.

Following that escapade, our trip continued with remarkable success. We performed assessments of two different wells finding one that holds excellent promise as a training site for our future operators. I have renewed respect for many of our international staff who perform hundreds of these same assessments every year and have to separate the valuable data from the useless. I was also very glad that my fiancé bought me some heavy duty rain boots before I left because the rain has scarcely let up since our arrival here.

Feeling good from the progress made, Pat and I jumped back in the truck that MAP International has so graciously provided and began the 50 km drive back to our hotel in Monrovia. One sobering moment occurred during our drive back as we passed a truck laden with large black bags, which instantly sobered our crew and reminded us that these are not just any other safe water projects.

Please pray that the necessary beds quickly become available so that ill Liberians can get the type of care you or I would. Your prayers thus far have been very much felt!

Jeremy

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Rainy Season in Monrovia Liberia

09.16.2014 | Drinking From a Fire Hose

It’s nearing the end of our first full day in Monrovia and we are getting the full effect of the rainy season. Although they tell us that the rains are declining, it has been a steady downpour for about 6 hours and many streets are impassable to all but the most rugged vehicles. I noticed a great many SUVs with ‘snorkel kits’ on them when we first arrived and now I am beginning to understand why.

Today’s experience was one of countless meetings and handing out business cards to various dignitaries. Many of these recognize our Water Missions logo and ask the whereabouts of Dr. Jeff Deal, his presence still very much felt despite being gone for more than two weeks. Even our waiters at the restaurant inquired about him. The flood of information that we gather at these meetings is almost too much to handle and we are forced to sort through the sad accounts of loss and tragedy and focus on pushing forward. As we met with one ministry official, my eyes were drawn to the board behind him which contained death notices of individuals who had worked in this very office. We must, however, continue to critically analyze the myriad of possible water system locations and put all the pieces of this puzzle together into workable solutions.

One startling fact was offered by the Deputy Minister of Public Works who stated that tests have demonstrated approximately 50% of the wells around Monrovia have some level of e-coli infestation. This is largely due to the nearly complete absence of proper toilets in many areas. I asked him if those numbers were likely higher in rural communities where sanitation is even less available. His response was a simple nod. However, the Deputy Minister did offer a bright spot amidst the chaos mustering a smile and saying, “the silver lining is that, even though it is taking much death from Ebola and other disease, people are becoming far more conscious of the necessity of proper sanitation.” Public health officials have been trying for years to tackle the problems caused by poor hygiene practices. Only now, when the results are fatally evident, are those admonitions being taken to heart.

I am truly blessed to have Pat Haughney as my more-than-capable guide and mentor. In many meetings, I can only sit and listen as he skillfully dictates every relevant detail of what WMI brings to the table. We are hopeful to receive a list of so-called ‘cholera hot-spots’ where the implementation of safe water would hopefully mean prevention of disease rather than bringing more aid to those who are already ill. Pray that we have wisdom as to where the most good can be done with our very limited resources and that we would find favor in convincing officials of the same.

Jeremy

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09.15.2014 | Charleston, South Carolina to Monrovia, Liberia

I had plenty of time to reflect on my previous international travel experiences during our various flights. In the past, I’ve always known who the enemy was and what to watch for in my travels with the Army. This scenario presents an entirely different spectrum of potential threats which are neither seen nor necessarily expected.

After two long days of travel, we have finally arrived in Monrovia. As the plane came in for its final descent, I found myself growing increasingly nervous and noticed that feeling was mutual as I made eye contact with other aid workers from various organizations on the flight. Sadly, the enormous plane only had about 40 seats filled, mostly by humanitarian relief workers. We watched as the plane’s crew methodically put on rubber gloves and face masks before we landed. This did nothing to allay our fears. However, Pat and I gave each other an encouraging smile, said our 100th quick prayer, and stepped off the plane to be greeted almost instantly by our first chlorine hand washing station.

It’s funny how little things like seeing your bag on the belt or the truck to pick you up can ease the tension that had been building over the last 31 hours of travel. A warm meal and safe hotel continued to bolster our spirits. We are looking forward to a good night’s rest before launching out in the morning to begin networking and assessing conditions and potential water sources.

We face a multitude of problems with all manner of origins. One that we are only beginning to grasp is that of the people’s deep cultural and religious beliefs. In many cases, they firmly believe that God will heal their families and friends and so pray for them with the laying on of hands. It is this very practice that may very well spread the disease but who are we to tell them what prayers our God will or will not choose to answer? Pray continually that He shows us how to approach each and every conversation and encounter with grace and wisdom.

Jeremy

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Our Staff on the Ground:

Pat-Haughney-Jeremy-Rees-WMI-Ebola-Liberia

This past Sunday, Pat Haughney (left), Disaster Response Manager, and Jeremy Rees (right), Production Supervisor, packed their bags and began the 31 hours of travel to Liberia. Pat, a seasoned disaster responder, and Jeremy, an experienced US Army Staff Sergeant, are working alongside fellow aid workers to deploy safe water for up to 100,000 people. Join us in praying for the people affected by Ebola in West Africa, the aid workers, and for God’s name to be proclaimed through it all.

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!

Julia

Julia Sherry

Community Development Intern

From: Dublin, Ohio

College: Virginia Tech, Class of 2015

Major: International Studies and Environmental Policy & Planning

Why did you want to intern at WMI:

During my freshman year of college, God gave me a passion for the water crisis. Since then, I have wanted to use my life and my career to do something about this problem. I wanted to intern at WMI in particular because the technologies and the community development strategies implemented by WMI are best in class, which means this organization does everything possible to set up communities all around the world to have sustainable access to safe water for life. I was also drawn to WMI because of the integration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into every aspect of this organization, because in the Gospel, God not only satisfies our every thirst, but also has the power to permanently transform lives and restore things that are broken.

Favorite responsibility:

Doing solid research in order to benefit WMI community development strategies.

Best spot in Charleston:

The deck of Jay’s boat during Wednesday night sailing races in the harbor!

Max

Max Wurthmann 

Engineering & Business Intern

From: Charleston, SC

College: Furman University, Class of 2015

Major: Business Administration

How does your summer project help the people we serve?

I was responsible for testing various materials for chlorinator tops to different pressures. This testing will hopefully provide a solution to prevent future tops from breaking in the field. If the chlorinator tops are breaking in the field the Living WaterTM Treatment System can’t run. If the LWTSTM can’t run, people don’t have clean, safe water.

What is your favorite part of working at WMI?

Seeing so many people who are passionate about their work

Best spot in Charleston:

Beach on Sullivan’s Island

Mackenzie

Mackenzie Blum

Production Intern

From: Sanford, NC

College: NC State University, Class of 2015

Major: Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Why did you want to intern at WMI:

I have always had a passion for the water crisis and learning how I can become part of the solution. I was so excited to find out about WMI and see how I could combine my engineering skills, passion for people, and love for the Lord all to help people who I may never have the opportunity to meet.

What is your favorite part of working at WMI:

Huddle (morning staff meeting) was by far my favorite part of working at WMI. There is something so energizing about starting the day praying with your fellow coworkers. I loved getting to hear about everyone’s victories so I knew a little bit more about what everyone was working on. I think that Huddle really brings the staff together in a unique way and reminds everyone at the start of the day who is really the center of the organization. By focusing our eyes on Christ in the morning we are automatically surrendering our day to His will which is such a powerful thing.

Best spot in Charleston:

Anywhere, as long as you are on the Tohido with Captain Jay!

 

Brooke

Brooke Wible

Engineering Intern

From: Jessup, MD

College: Geneva College, Class of 2015

Major: Environmental Engineering

Why did you want to intern at WMI:

Last summer, I interned with Water Missions Uganda (WMU). I loved learning about WMI’s work at in-country program offices: assessment, design, implementation, community development, and monitoring of safe water systems. I was able to participate in the design and implementation of one project, St. Francis Hospital Buluba, and was thankful that the Lord provided some very meaningful work. Since high school, implementing clean water systems in other countries has been a passion, and the Lord confirmed that passion in my internship with WMU. This summer, I wanted to learn about WMI’s headquarters in Charleston to see how the WMI team in the States supports those in the field. It has been a great opportunity to see how country programs and headquarters interact, as well as to learn more about the importance of standards in engineering design that Charleston generates.

How does your summer project impact the people we serve?

This summer I tested three different pumps powered by a solar array to experimentally determine the how much water a pump can produce in a single day (or the total daily water production). This project was intended to determine if the current WMI method of calculating total daily water production well represents the results that might be seen in the field. We saw that WMI’s method is not only simpler, but also more accurate. I also evaluated some of the assumptions that WMI makes when designing a system using a solar powered pump, like our safety factor and number of peak solar hours in a day. If these assumptions were not reasonable, then the safe water systems we build in the field would not provide enough water to the communities in which we work. After evaluating our method, we concluded that it is indeed reasonable and slightly conservative, which means that the way in which WMI designs systems will provide plenty of water to the communities we serve.

Best spot in Charleston:

Jay’s sailboat in the harbor!

We were also privileged to have another engineering intern, Ben Mason, Georgia Tech ‘15, join our Charleston staff over the summer.

DSC_0396

Photos courtesy of Tracy Williams

Our thanks to all of our incredible summer interns! Grateful you gave up a summer to partner with us in transforming lives. We wish you the best!

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.

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8.31.14

Ebola Relief

The past 48 hours has been a wild ride to say the least. Friday, I had finished working and was walking to get something to eat when I got a call from the President’s office. Within an hour, Bobby, one of the President’s security staff, showed up. In minutes, I was talking to President Sirleaf and one of her medical advisers. She is a very impressive person who is obviously quite weighted down over the Ebola epidemic that is ravaging her people, its economy, and its fragile health care system.

The next morning, I went to check into the staff at ELWA and Bobby came up and greeted me. Quite by chance, I found myself lining up with the staff and applauding as two survivors walked out of the ETU alive and well. President Sirleaf herself met them and spoke to her country via a large press gathering. She then walked over to me and said, “So, Dr. Deal. This is your machine?” The staff had brought out the TRU-D and we stood around it.

She then turned to the crowd and told them how this machine was sent to help them. “This man is a friend of Liberia,” she said. I was moved, to say the least. We had spoken at length the evening before and on this morning I said only seven words to her which she then turned and repeated in a near shout. I told her, “Madam President, you will win this war.”

I am writing this from the airport waiting to leave and having the usual feelings of guilt for not staying to fight with them. A piece of great news is that Water Missions International has already started sending over the much needed water treatment systems. Perhaps that is why I was here all along.

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8.28.14

On the ground in Liberia

Working with patients in Liberia

The Ebola Treatment Unit at ELWA is the using the TRU-D almost continually. They use it after each patient (living or dead) is moved. We also use it for the dressing areas and the personal decontamination areas. After spending a few shifts inside with them, I decided to show them how to reprogram a viral dose to save time. Because of the physical and emotional stresses of being among so many ill patients and under so many layers of protective gear, the shifts are only two hours long. So I sped it up and reprogrammed to an antiviral setting.

The incubation time for this strain of Ebola is 10-21 days, so there is not really time to tell yet what the impact will be, and data of this sort is very difficult to obtain. So far, around 10-15% of all of the cases have been among healthcare workers, likely to be in the hundreds at least. So far in Liberia, around 200 deaths have been among the HC workers. Three just yesterday.

But (and I need everyone to remember this) when they wear proper gear and decontamination procedures have been followed, no healthcare workers have contracted the illness. This means I expect some hugs when I get back. It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve had any human contact except through layers of latex. Also, clinical illness precedes an infectious viral load by days, so no fever, and no risk. I am tired but not sick, but I will understand if some keep their distance. The same type of stigmata is being seen in survivors who return to their villages. No one will come near to them.

I also used the machine to decontaminate myself while still in my gear. At least a couple of dozen of the workers expressed to me that they felt more confident in working in the ETU’s since we deployed the TRU-D’s. They love the idea that they are getting access to the same technology that the more advanced hospitals in the US use. Some workers have fled, but there is actually a waiting list of workers volunteering to work in the ETU’s. Many work without pay. Heroes, all of them.

When the Ebola crisis ends, and it will, they will redeploy the units to the hospitals. Women continue to give birth, malaria season is here, and auto accidents continue to happen. The Ebola epidemic has increased the fatality rates of all the other diseases because so many facilities had closed. The TRU-D will help.

Also, the water situation in all of the ETU’s is desperate. The WMI systems will, in the long run, save more lives than any other intervention. Cholera is here now and being neglected because of Ebola.
The situation here is about as dire as an infectious problem can be. I helped design a new ETU yesterday at a new location. One thing I recommended and was done is to create a morgue close to an exit so that patients will not have to see the bodies being loaded into trucks. They need hope not despair.

It will take massive aid to interrupt this killer. As a sign of this, they are running short of body bags.

1 John 3:17-18.

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8.27.14

Deal Selfie

Dr. Deal snapped this selfie after suiting up.

That’s me using the TRU-D in the Ebola Treatment Unit of Elwa. The staff there are going great with it. It is a VERY well run unit with caring staff that work hard. I was able to get photos because I took in an underwater camera that I could drop in a bucket of chlorine on the way out.

I pretty much reached my physical limits today. By the time I went through the 20+ minute decontamination procedure I was getting a little dizzy. Fortunately, the ETU at JFK had a delay and I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to make contacts for the Water Missions International staff as they prepare to send in badly needed water systems.
Lots of people dying, but lots of people surviving because of the staff. After we suit up and before we go in, the staff form a circle and pray for protection and God’s blessing on their work. I think He’s listening. I know I am.

Jeff

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08.26.14

Selfie

Dr. Deal (right) snapped this selfie with a hospital staff member.

Frankly, I am very tired. I have decided that I can only do a single shift in the Ebola Treatment Units per day. The suits are hot and it is so hard to breath that I was dragging a bit at the end of my shift at ELWA ETU and struggled a little for a shift at JFK’s ETU. I don’t think I will try that again. Just too old and soft, I think.

The staff at ELWA are doing great, and we’ve got a good plan for the TRU-D. I trained the second and third shift so they know the process about as well as me. The doctor, Dr. Park, is very much on-board. All of them appreciate the donation of the TRU-D as the number of healthcare workers who have succumbed to the disease continues to rise. I fear that this epidemic is completely out of control.

This entire country has become instant germophobes. No one shakes hands. You have to wash your hands in bleach water before entering any building and in most you also have your temperature taken. I think Liberia is now the most hygienic place on earth.
The people here are kind and gracious (I could not resist the selfie with one staff member). They are putting up a valiant fight against this epidemic with very limited resources.

Jeff

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08.23.2014

Hazmats in Liberia

Jeff (left) working with other doctors in the Ebola Treatment Unit at ELWA in Liberia.

Great day in Liberia. Both units are now operating perfectly. I spent the afternoon in all the gear (that is me, the tall guy on the left) working in the Ebola Treatment Unit in ELWA. This is the same facility in which the Samaritan’s Purse doctor who ended up at Emory was working when he contracted the disease. The staff is great, and we’ve worked out most of the protocols for the TRU-D’s use. I am not worried as the staff watch me like a hawk to make sure I follow all of the decontamination procedures and frankly, we now have the TRU-D working for us as well. The suits are quite hot and after a few hours, I was beat.

I watched a Liberian nurse in full hazmat gear coaxing a two-year-old patient into drinking rehydration salt solutions while her mom lay on a mattress on the floor beside her very ill. She stayed there on her knees with the child until he had drunk the whole cup. I was decontaminating the next room with the TRU-D while she was with the child.

I saw a 12-year-old boy in the Confirmed Cases Ward washing plastic mattress covers. He had recovered and just wanted to work until he was released.

A beautiful nurse walked up and smiled at me. My first thought was “Why is she not in her protective gear?!!!!” But they said she had recovered and was waiting for release. She looked full of joy.

Protected in Liberia by God, my family and friends who pray for me, my hazmat suit that David Deal helped me pick out, and the TRU-D.

All Well.
Jeff 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…

Truth About Toilets

Lauren McCarter —  August 8, 2014

“If I would take the time to explain my happiness, I would never finish because my joy comes from the heavens. God sent you to give me this latrine. For me, it is grace.” – Hargueritte, Haiti

Experiement.com Campaign

For many in developing nations, a toilet is an unaffordable luxury. Adequate sanitation, like safe water, is crucial for proper hygiene and stopping water-related illness. Most of all, it’s a basic human right that gives dignity and privacy. Currently, an estimated 2.5 billion people lack access to a proper toilet. That’s one in three people who don’t have a clean, private place to go to the bathroom. For these people, a toilet is a symbol of better health, higher income, education, and improved hygiene. Continue Reading…

At Water Missions International, our aim is to be a best in class Christian engineering ministry that transforms lives through sustainable safe water solutions. We understand the importance in clean, safe water, which is why we’ve put in place the best possible practices to filter and treat the water in the communities we’ve worked with. A clear glass of water can be deceptive, which is why we always test for the dangerous contaminants the human eye cannot see.

Collecting Water Samples

Our founder George Greene III collects a raw water sample for testing.

Continue Reading…

At the beginning of each safe water project, the community elects a safe water committee. This committee manages each safe water solution, from upkeep to finances. Our in-country staff work with them throughout the construction phase of the project, teaching them about financial sustainability, record keeping, and responsible management.

By the time a solution is commissioned, the safe water committee has established its own guiding constitution, financial plan, and a clear and transparent process for setting water fees. When the committee is ready to take on their new responsibilities, our staff hand over management of the safe water solution, continuing to support the safe water committee with follow up visits and support for at least the next year. Support can range from everything from mechanical repairs to safe water promotion or even crisis mediation.

Safe Water In Bugoto

Thanks to the management of the safe water committee, the children of Bugoto, Uganda will grow up with safe water access.

In the case of the safe water solution in Bugoto, Uganda, our staff needed to do the latter. One year after their safe water solution was commissioned and officially handed over to the safe water committee, trouble was brewing. This fishing community had embraced their new safe water. “Those of us who are using safe water are happy and moving forward in life,” one community member smiled when asked about the solution. “We are doing well and looking healthy.” Continue Reading…