2017 has been a year riddled with natural disasters that have hit very close to home. As we enter the last few months of this year, months that are filled with so much fun and festivity, I can’t help but think of all the people who won’t be heading into the holiday season with the same joy and anticipation. People who lost their homes in the floods that wreaked havoc in Houston. The millions in Puerto Rico who truly have nothing because of the absolute destruction that Hurricane Maria has caused. The devastation is catastrophic.
I recently read a report that said that 3 million people in Puerto Rico are without power still and 1 million without clean water. 1 Million American citizens don’t have safe water to drink. This breaks my heart and blows my mind.
Being in the “business” of bringing clean water to the developing world, I often have conversations with people here in the US who say things like “I just can’t imagine not having clean water.” It seems like such a far off issue for so many of us. It doesn’t affect our day to day lives. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
In the last couple of weeks, we’ve received inquiries from people who are desperately looking to help our fellow citizens and neighbors in Puerto Rico. I recently talked on the phone with a woman whose husband is there responding to the disaster. He and his team are trying to bring safe water to a very rural community who has no other access to water than water bottles that are delivered sporadically. Her husband was looking for a solution and had his wife give us a call.
Since we are not a disaster relief organization, my response probably wasn’t what she was looking for but it was an important conversation. I shared with her that there are hundreds of other amazing organizations who are much more equipped to help right now in Puerto Rico. Our solution is to set up long-term, sustainable water purification systems. Technology that can be gravity fed and needs no electricity to operate. This got me thinking…
What if we could actually end the Global Water Crisis so that when natural disasters occur, neighboring communities and countries have the solution already? What if we completely eradicated water-borne illnesses?
After Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti last fall, we heard stories of pastors who had our water purification systems filling a truck filled with purified water and delivering it to the surrounding areas that had no clean water. Just last month in Mexico, our staff worked alongside Nazarene Compassionate Ministries to set up emergency water stations after an earthquake left thousands displaced and without basic needs.
Hear me, disaster relief is so necessary, especially right now. In fact, I urge you to support the efforts in Puerto Rico (Food for the Hungry and Compassion International are very commendable)! But imagine a world where disasters don’t have to be as tragic because clean water is available immediately and in plenty.
We really mean it when we say our vision is to see thirsting individuals turn into thriving communities by abolishing the Global Water Crisis. This is a crisis with a solution— it just needs an end date. We would love for you to join us!