AQUABOX has responded promptly to the devastating earthquake which hit Haiti on August 14. Our volunteer teams immediately concentrated on stepping up production of Aquabox water filters, and an initial consignment of both community filters and family filters left our depot in Derbyshire on September 17, to join an Air France air freight consignment to the Haitian capital Port au Prince.
This Aquabox consignment will ensure that thousands of people in Haiti – one of the poorest countries in the world – will at least have access to clean, safe water for drinking, for cooking and for washing. But the sheer scale of the disaster means that much more aid is desperately needed.
The 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Tiburon peninsula, about 150km west of Port au Prince, at 8.29am on August 14. The scale of the damage is horrifying – it is the worst natural disaster the world has seen this year. As of September 7, at least 2,248 people were confirmed to have been killed, and the number of injured was estimated at 12,000 and rising. At least 136,800 buildings were damaged or destroyed, and more than 900 aftershocks were recorded in the following weeks.
Les Cayes, Haiti’s third-largest city, was the closest to the quake, and suffered massive damage. On August 18, the Haitian Civil Protection General Directorate reported that more than 60,700 homes had been destroyed, and 76,100 others were damaged. At least 53 medical facilities suffered partial damage, six were totally destroyed, and the quake damaged or destroyed more than 300 schools.
The Haitian government immediately declared a state of emergency, and on August 30 Unicef reported that that at least 650,000 people – 250,000 of them children – were in need of humanitarian aid. An estimated 81,000 Haitians had no access to safe drinking water.
Faced with numbers like this, you might think that you couldn’t possibly make a difference. You would be wrong! One Aquabox family filter costs about £30, and has the capacity to process up to half a million litres of water over its life.
The basic human need is about four litres a day to sustain life – so just one Aquabox family filter can provide life-saving water for scores of people, day after day, week after week. The larger community filters, intended for use in schools, hospitals and community centres, can help to save thousands of lives. And because Aquabox is run almost entirely by unpaid volunteers, nearly all your donation goes directly to making more water filters, and shipping them to where they are needed most.
Will you help us? We need to assemble and pack more filters, and to get them to desperate communities in Haiti as fast as possible. Aquabox can’t do anything about the massive destruction or the thousands of injured people in Haiti, but we can ensure that desperate Haitians at least have access to clean, safe water. Because without that clean, safe water, in a very short space of time nothing else matters.
Please support this vital work. Go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Aquabox-Haiti2021 and give whatever you can. Thank you!