Disaster Response

A few weeks ago, we told you how Water Missions International, in partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, was responding to the desperate need for safe water in South Sudan’s refugee camps. One of our staff members from Water Missions International Uganda traveled north with a team from Samaritan’s Purse and two Living Water™ Treatment Systems. Both systems are now fully operational and providing much needed safe water.

Since fighting began in December, more than 700,000 people have fled their homes in South Sudan. While many have fled to refugee camps within the country, more than 100,000 people (roughly the size of Charleston, SC) have sought refuge in neighboring countries, including Uganda. Continue Reading…

Remembering Watson

Lauren McCarter —  February 27, 2014 — 2 Comments

The staff at Water Missions International offices around the world have been shocked and saddened to learn about the tragic loss of one of the members of Water Missions International Haiti. A few days ago, Watson, our internal security officer at our Haiti office, was killed while walking home. It is hard to express properly the grief felt over this loss and circumstances. The day we learned of this tragedy, one of our colleagues, Elsa, from our Haiti office wrote us the following letter to share what he meant to our Haiti staff.

For us the news feels like a nightmare we will wake up from to find Watson next to us. We know this is not so. All of the staff is devastated with the occurrence.

Victor Estael, Watson as we all know him, was a simple and humble young man with a tender heart and an unconditional servant for those who cared for him, a man raised by the streets of Haiti but with a desire to learn and improve himself. He was twenty-eight-years-old. Continue Reading…

We have received several thank you notes and warm regards from communities throughout the Philippines since we began responding to the disaster of Typhoon Haiyan. We wanted to share this one with from from the Mayor of Bingawan. Read what our supporters have made possible!

“Although Typhoon Haiyan brought unprecedented miseries to the people of our town, we were honored and privileged to be the recipient of lots of donations and goodwill from local and foreign individuals and organizations.

When the team from Water Missions International first came to visit us along with a guest from InTouch Ministry, we were excited about the prospect of having safe water for our people at last.

Testimonial

The Mayor of Bingawan thanked Water Missions International for the gift of safe water.

In the aftermath of the typhoon, the children were especially vulnerable to water-borne diseases. There were many reported diarrhea cases because the dug wells that were the primary sources of drinking water became contaminated from surface run-off.  We felt helpless after the pronouncement from our municipal health officer that all our sources for drinking water were unsafe.

We do not have piped water supply system for our people nor good sewerage facilities for them. Recent surveys also showed that our town belongs to one of the most waterless areas in the Philippines, yet we have a stable source of water from a nearby well. Since it is untreated, our residents are forced to buy very expensive purified water from commercial establishments. How to change the paradigm has been my dream since I assumed office four years ago.

We feel that the Living Water™ Treatment System (LWTS™) from Water Missions International is heaven-sent, an answer to our prayers. After the system was installed, we campaigned aggressively among our constituents concerning the availability of free safe water near the town hall. The response was quite overwhelming. People from as far as 5 kilometers away have lately been bringing their jeepneys, tricycles, motorcycles, and multicabs (small pickups) to get drinking water. Even the water dispensers in our government offices are now using LWTS-processed water.

WASH training

Water Missions International staff member Josue teaches the people of Bingawan about safe water, health, and hygiene.

On January 22, we gathered our Barangay captains, school principals, division heads of our local government units, and those from the civil society for a lecture from Water Missions International representatives on safe water, sanitation, and hygiene. We hope and pray that Water Missions International will allow us to use the water system on long-term basis so that more people can benefit from it. ” —Hon. Matt P.  Palabrica, Mayor, Municipality of Bingawan, Province of Iloilo

Disaster Response 101

Lauren McCarter —  February 20, 2014 — Leave a comment

When a disaster strikes, aid organizations around the world quickly mobilize to bring supplies and help with recovery efforts. However, these actions are rarely as simple as they might seem.

For Water Missions International, all disaster response efforts evolve out of a multi-step process designed to ensure our work is as effective and efficient as possible. Water Missions International knows that disasters can happen anywhere, at any time, so we keep a reserve of at least twenty water treatment systems stored and ready to go at our international headquarters; we also have additional systems stored at our offices in countries around the world. These Living Water™ Treatment Systems can produce up to 10,000 gallons of water a day—enough to sustain life for approximately 7,000 people per system. Additionally, staff from our headquarters in Charleston, SC and in our other ten offices around the world are trained and ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.

The Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines in November 2013.

Continue Reading…

Partnering For Relief

Lauren McCarter —  February 18, 2014 — Leave a comment

When Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines, one restaurant owner didn’t wait for help to come. With no other goal but to help people in need, Mark and Carmel Almadrones immediately began to organize relief efforts, distributing supplies to more than 2,000 people on the northern part of Cebu island, an area that had fallen right in the path of the storm. Mark, the owner of Little Saigon Big Bangkok, realized the need for affordable safe water and reached out to Water Missions International, asking for help.

One of Water Missions International’s volunteers was fielding requests for aid in Manila and quickly responded to Mark to learn more about the situation. Mark was eager to work with our team when he learned more about the aid we could offer.

“We need to think long term so that water in these areas will never again be a commodity that can be exploited,” Mark told Water Missions International.

Typhoon Haiyan Response

The people of Luyang were thrilled to receive their safe water solution.

Water Missions International staff member Josue traveled to Luyang, Cebu to design and implement a customized safe water solution for the community Mark told us about. After testing the water in the local wells, Josue determined that the people of Luyang would best be served by our Living Water™ Treatment System. The system was installed and quickly worked to filter and treat water from one of the community’s wells.

“Water Missions International answered our call for help, and there are so many people who are incredibly grateful that you did. As of this moment, even in darkness, people are lining up for water outside of the tank, and all walking away happy to have safe drinking water, many for the first time,” Mark wrote us the night the system was installed.

Disaster Relief

People crowded to get safe water.

As part of our approach to disaster response, we hope to work with communities long after the original aid relief has been provided. We’ll continue to communicate with Mark and members of the Luyang community to see if it’s possible to transition this disaster relief project into one of our permanent community-based projects in the coming year.

To learn more about the efforts of Mark and his wife to bring aid relief to their neighbors after the storm, check out their blog series here.

Relief For Refugees

Lauren McCarter —  February 13, 2014 — Leave a comment

The recent conflict in South Sudan has displaced more than 800,000 people who have fled their homes and communities to escape violence. Today, a Water Missions International Uganda staff member, Henrick, left to journey north toward the South Sudan border. Henrick, working in conjunction with Samaritan’s Purse, will bring two of Water Missions International’s Living Water™ Treatment Systems to provide safe water for thousands in need.

Humanitarian Crisis in South Sudan

Refugees from the South Sudan have poured into overcrowded camps seeking escape from escalating violence.

Since its establishment in 2011, South Sudan has lacked safe water access for roughly 50% of its population. This is a daily struggle further escalated by the migration of so many seeking security. Without safe water access, conditions in refugee camps can lead to rampant sickness. We know that safe water will prevent outbreaks of preventable waterborne illnesses and we hope it will also restore hope to so many who have lost everything.

Water Missions International Uganda has experience working in refugee camps to bring safe water to those who’ve fled to escape violence in other countries. Last year, our staff worked with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to bring safe water to more than 30,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

South Sudan Refugee camp

South Sudanese refugees line up to collect unsafe water in this refugee camp.

We will keep you updated as we work to bring much needed relief to those affected by this humanitarian crisis. If you would like to support the work of Water Missions International, please consider making a donation here.

Your support enabled Water Missions International to provide safe water relief quickly after the catastrophe of Typhoon Haiyan. You helped us to impact thousands of lives in a great hour of need. Our work continues today to help the Philippines rebuild. We are still assessing new needs and implementing community-based safe water solutions every day.

It’s hard to properly describe what it’s like to be on the ground in the wake of disaster, and it’s also hard to properly capture what it means when we say that safe water brings hope. We wanted to share a quick glimpse of our work and the impact we’ve been making together in the hope that you can get a better idea of just how much of a difference you helped us to make. On behalf of Water Missions International and those served already in the Philippines, thank you. We couldn’t do this without you.

Jesus Christ told his followers, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-20). As a faith-based organization, we are called to share God’s love and truth whenever He presents us with an opportunity to do so. One of the ways we’re able to do this is by supporting missionaries in countries around the world with the provision of safe water access- for their personal needs and as an equipping tool for sharing the Gospel. Sometimes we have the opportunity to use our expertise for safe water engineering and community development to impact the training centers and epicenters of ministry growth and development. In the story we’re sharing today, a safe water project was established to provide for the care of missionaries in training in Malawi. We know the ripple effect of this project will reach generations. Continue Reading…

Our staff on the ground in the Philippines continue to work with communities impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. Whether they’re working in refugee camps or with communities rebuilding from the ground up, one thing has been consistently the same—the warmth and gratitude of the Filipino people.

Every day, we hear stories of love and thankfulness for the relief reaching people in need. Your support has helped make this possible. As you read this letter that was sent to us, please keep in mind that Betsy is thanking you as well! Continue Reading…

Water Sunday 2014

Kevin Herr —  January 30, 2014 — 1 Comment

2014 Water Sunday

Thanks to partnering pastors and churches, Water Sunday’s efforts over the past two years have provided, and continue to implement, safe water projects providing access to safe water to over 25,000 people worldwide. In 2014, we invite you to join the movement of churches that are transforming March 23rd, the day following World Water Day, into Water Sunday. This is a done-for-you missions opportunity with all the resources prepared to make this a transformational event in the life of your church. Continue Reading…