Water Missions International started with invention. When our founders, George and Molly Greene, couldn’t find an affordable water treatment system to send to Honduras to help with disaster response efforts following Hurricane Mitch, they built their own. Ever since, we’ve focused on building our own solutions to solve the global water crisis.

Our experience has taught us that not every solution works for all problems. The type of water treatment that bests suits a community in Honduras probably won’t be identical to what works best in Indonesia or Uganda. For this reason, we customize each project.

Safe Water Collection

A child collects safe water from a chlorinator

A Water Missions International team will go into a community and perform an assessment. Our engineers look at the community’s water needs, geography, and economy, among other things. They’ll design a solution to the community’s lack of safe water. If there isn’t a viable water source in the community, such as a river or lake, our team will work with the community to drill boreholes to serve as the main water source. If such a source already exists, our team will perform tests to determine what level of filtration and treatment will be required. Continue Reading…

Since the outbreak of cholera in 2010, nearly everyone you speak to in Haiti knows someone who has contracted the deadly illness. At the Haiti Evangelical Christian Mission church, they listed out the names when asked. “Mrs. Elien and her son both were in hospital with cholera,” the pastor began. “Rosemarie and her two sons had cholera. Ms. Maude’s father died in the hospital with cholera…”

The list went on and on. “We still have cholera in the community and if we count only the people we know, at least 25 have died from this terrible disease,” said Pastor Saint-Clair Destine. “We live with a constant fear of what may happen to us and our children and elderly because we do not have good water to use for our needs.”

Collecting Unsafe Water

Children used to collect unsafe water from handpumps like this one near the church.

When Pastor Destine first reached out to Water Missions International asking for help for his community, this fear of cholera permeated the remote community. The local clinic was powerless to help those sick without safe water to give patients to drink, and the community didn’t fully understand the threat of cholera that hung over them. Continue Reading…

It’s been a year since the community of Brisas del Monga, Honduras celebrated the commissioning of their safe water solution, which has given safe water access to roughly 500 people. Community members are still celebrating the gift of safe water and the impact it has had on their community.

Safe water in Honduras

Community members can pick up safe water to meet all their daily water needs from a central distribution point.

“Many people are happy in our community because now we’re drinking safe water,” a community member, Emilio, said. He explained how now, with safe water access, the people of Brisas del Monga are more aware of the dangers of unsafe water. “Now we don’t drink raw water from the faucet because only water from the system is safe water.” The community of Brisas del Monga trusts the water from their safe water solution, especially after they received outside assurance that it was free of disease. “The health department came and did a water sample test,” Emilio recalled. “The result was 100% safe water.” Continue Reading…

Imagine being sick and going to a hospital to get better, only to contract water-related illness from a glass of water that your nurse hands you to take with your medication. A situation like this is unthinkable in the USA. Hospitals are a place of healing, not the place where you could get worse. But for the patients and staff of Kapiri Mission Hospital, this was their risky reality.

“The water situation used to be pathetic,” Dr. Sister Kanguade, the director of the hospital, lamented. “One time Health Surveillance Assistants took some water samples from our hospital taps to test at a government laboratory. The water tests showed bacteria. We doubted the results, because we have been drinking the same water for years but lived.”

Safe water tapstand

Now the staff’s family member can collect safe water from tapstands at the hospital.

A group of Rotarians had been working with the hospital, donating desperately needed wheel chairs. While visiting the hospital, the Rotarians immediately realized the dire water situation Kapiri Mission Hospital faced and reached out to Water Missions International’s office in Malawi. Continue Reading…

Water Missions 101

Anna Nodtvedt —  July 3, 2014 — 1 Comment

A lot has happened over the last year at Water Missions International, especially on this blog. We wanted to take the time to round up a few posts for you. These posts break down different facets of who we are and what we do.

1. Our Most Frequently Asked Question: “So do you guys do wells?”

More often than not, the first question people ask when we tell them about our work has something to do with wells. In fact, it seems there is a widely held assumption that a protected well fit with a sturdy hand pump is the most effective (or at least the most feasible) water supply solution for rural communities around the world. This is often the concept we see advertised or expressed by aid agencies. Developing world? No water? They need a well… Click here to read more

2. How Community Water Partnerships Work Continue Reading…

This afternoon Water Missions International was privileged to host Texas Governor Rick Perry for a roundtable discussion with local Charleston, S.C. non-profit leaders.

“We are honored that Gov. Perry will be taking a tour of WMI headquarters to learn more about our work toward addressing the global water crisis, ” said Water Missions International CEO and Co-Founder, George C. Greene III yesterday when announcing the event. “WMI, one of the world’s leading resources for safe water and sanitation solutions, is grateful for the opportunity to share our approach with leaders such as Gov. Perry.”

Perry & Greene

Gov. Perry at Water Missions International’s headquarters with founder George Greene III

During his time at WMI headquarters, Gov. Perry had the opportunity to tour the facility and meet with staff and volunteers. He listened intently as founders George and Molly Greene explained the how they founded their organization and how they provide those in need with safe water access. Continue Reading…

It’s been seven months since Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines and Water Missions International launched disaster response efforts to bring safe water to those who lost everything in the powerful storm. Earlier this year, we shared a thank you letter from Betsy, whose community received a Living Water™ Treatment System.

“Water Missions International came and brought the most important/biggest gift we’ve received, ever,” Betsy wrote. “It was by then that, little by little, people came to understand that there is always this divine intervention.”

Betsy

Betsy, and the rest of her community, were overjoyed to receive a safe water access after Typhoon Haiyan.

A few days ago we heard back from Betsy with an update on how her community of 5,000 people is doing. She shared that her community is recovering well, and that they’re building an enclosure to protect what was meant to be a temporary solution to their problem.

“Our building is just a small one, just enough to protect the system from the sun and dirt,” she wrote us. “This is courtesy of our governor, who was so overwhelmed by this gift.”

Betsy’s community, like so many others, hopes to keep their disaster response systems running while they continue to rebuild their lives, but these systems aren’t always adequate for their long-term needs. Although the storm has passed in the Philippines, we want to continue to work with communities like Betsy’s and help make safe water access a permanent reality rather than a temporary solution.

Disaster Response Typhoon Haiyan

Water Missions International is committed to staying and helping with recovery efforts as long as we’re needed.

In Haiti, following disaster response efforts for the 2010 earthquake, Water Missions International has been working to transition disaster response systems into permanent installations—projects that run on solar power with the capability of meeting greater water needs. This is our hope for every crisis we responded to, from cholera outbreaks to natural disasters. We want to work to meet a community’s need for safe water permanently, and transform their lives forever.

 

Everyone, no matter their situation or circumstance, has the power to make a difference in another person’s life. Water Missions International is honored to have a group of supporters, called Thirst Quenchers, who give every month to help transform the lives of others with the gift of safe water.

As part of our Thirst Quencher program, these passionate individuals make a monthly donation to support our work. Their regular giving ensures a steady flow of safe water for those who thirst.

As a benefit, our Thirst Quenchers get the inside scoop on what’s happening here at Water Missions International. In addition to a special quarterly e-newsletter, they get access to breaking news, first look at new videos, and a yearly photo calendar.

Sign up today to join our Thirst Quencher program by clicking here. You can help us transform lives around the world with your monthly gift. Your monthly gift is their daily celebration!

UPDATE: 6/19/2014

Safe water now flows in Mulwanda. Our staff responded to requests for emergency aid and installed a Living Water Treatment System™. To hear more about the situation in Mulwanda, watch this special message from Michael, the Director of our Uganda country program.

Continue Reading…

Earlier this year, Bryan and I brought home our adopted son from Ghana. We were thrilled to welcome “E” into our lives and home. We’re both committed to helping others get access to safe water, but having a son who lacked safe water his whole life quickly gave us a deeper passion for the importance of the work of organizations like Water Missions International. Bryan wanted to share about how having a son has changed his perspective on the need for safe water.

I will never forget the moment I met my son. It was amazing. He is such a brave and beautiful child.

Fathers Day

Bryan and his son E enjoying a carousel ride

One morning, there was a very large thunderstorm raining down loudly on our home. E came into our room and as we sat together he began to talk about his life. He shared that when it would rain hard when he was in Ghana, they would stop the day’s activities to all go and get buckets. They would fill those buckets with the rain water and bathe using that water. There was no ability to wash on a regular basis. There was just no water to do so.

Upon first arriving in our home, my wife was making him some MILO, similar to hot cocoa. It was very hot, so she took his mug and walked over to the sink to add some cold water to cool it down. With a panicked look on his face, E yelled, “Bad water!” He didn’t trust any water from a tap.

This was the first moment that we had any inclination that he understood the difference between good and bad water. Unfortunately, he believed that if water was clear that it was good water, and from his medical results we know that he had a lot of “bad water” before we were brought together.

Bryan and E

Bryan and E on his first day of school in the United States

I won’t forget the first time I noticed his distended belly, sick from a lifetime of malnutrition and illness. Even now, months after being home together, we continue to be at war with giardia and other waterborne illness from the water he drank while in his native country of Ghana. I’ll also never forget how he told us for the first time, just last week, “My belly no more hurt!” with a wide smile on his face, showing the medical regimen is finally starting to help him.

I count myself as truly blessed. Blessed that we have incredible doctors and resources at our disposal to help our son. Blessed that as a father I am able to provide care for him to be restored to health, and comfort when he is sick. Access to safe water is not something we worry about. I am blessed that I can celebrate my first father’s day with the joyful laughter of our son echoing through our home, as his body continues to grow stronger each day.

I invite you to join Water Missions International this Father’s Day so that men around the world will no longer have to fear that their children will die from contaminated water. So that families can have sanitation that protects them from illness, and critical health and hygiene training can impact generations to come with life-saving knowledge.

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