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Donation to provide clean, safe water in Haiti

January 22, 2011
By MEGHAN McCOY, mmccoy@breezenewspapers.com

A special presentation and donation was given during the Rotary District 6960 meeting Friday morning that will benefit children in Haiti by preventing the spread of cholera.

Water One, a family owned and operated business, designed and manufactured a solar powered, mobile water purification wagon that will instantly purify water by eliminating 99.99 percent of bacteria and viruses.

Purification takes place after water goes through a ViroBac, which is a proprietary media that the company designed to disinfect water on contact.

After the water runs through the media an individual can immediately drink the water.

Matthew Barlow, one of the family members who works for Water One, said they all had a vision to produce a purification product that would kill viruses and bacteria many years ago. After Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans and the earthquake devastated Haiti a year ago the family business decided to relaunch the purification unit.

After drawing a design on a napkin, Barlow said the manufacturing of the solar powered, mobile water purification wagon took shape.

Rotary International District 6960 Governor Don Thomas said the water purification unit is "super important because of the recent cholera outbreak" in Haiti.

"We can start changing the things that are happening in Haiti," he said. "We are going to give them a hand up instead of a hand out."

Thomas went on to explain that providing fresh, clean drinking water to developing countries is one of the main projects of Rotary.

Kenn Visser, vice president of marketing and sales of World Solutions, a Water One Company, provided a Powerpoint presentation to the crowd of Rotarians Friday afternoon to share what a solar-powered, mobile water purification wagon can do for an orphanage in Haiti.

One of his slides addressed the cleanliness of water by informing individuals that access to clean, safe drinking water is the first step in breaking the cycle of death and poverty.

The purification wagon can produce up to 4,300 gallons of water a day, seven days a week, or 12,000 gallons a year, which is equivalent to $158,000 for bottles of water. It can provide two gallons of water per person for 200 people.

The wagon is solar powered. When it is not sunny out, the battery will stay charged for eight to 10 hours.

Visser said it costs $450 to change the media once a year to keep the water fresh.

"We know we have the equipment to solve water crisis," Visser said. "We are birthing a new project today."

Barlow said they hope to help another orphanage in Haiti in the next 30 to 60 days by providing another water purification wagon.

"This is a great day," Thomas said about the donation. "My heart is in Haiti. This is a great step to help Haiti."

Thomas said he will spend between four and five days in Haiti to drop off the water purification wagon.

"We have one of the richest districts in the world, we need to tap into that money," Thomas said about bring more of the water purification units to Haiti. "We can make a difference."

Members from Change for Tomorrow, a Southwest Florida Haitian community were also present during the meeting Friday afternoon.

 
 
 

 

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