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UMTV: Haiti Water Relief


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For agencies lending aid following a natrual disaster like the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, clean water is a top priority. Lilla Marigza shows us how teams empower locals to turn dirty rivers and puddles into clean drinking water.


(Locator: Gressier, Haiti)

You see them all over Haiti, women and children with buckets looking for water. Even before the earthquake, clean water was in short supply. But as people have been displaced, it's harder than ever to find. Melissa Crutchfield with the United Methodist Committee On Relief talks to families.

Melissa Crutchfield, UMCOR: "They say there's about 2,000-3,000 people in this town and all the houses. He pretty much said everyone is sleeping outside right now. Either the houses were destroyed completely or damaged enough to where people don't want to sleep in them."

In some areas, the infrastructure that provides clean water and sanitation has been damaged. In other communities, an influx of refugees has overloaded resources.

(Man speaks Haitian Creole)

Melissa Crutchfield, UMCOR: "They are saying that there are two wells. There's one inside the Methodist building and there's one outside here, like hand pump wells. The water's not potable, but that's what they're drinking."

Dirty water can harbor deadly diseases like dysentery, hepatitis and even typhoid and cholera.

Greg Allgood: "Even if the water is clear, it can be unsafe to drink."

UMCOR and partners are distributing six million water treatment packets. Greg Allgood from Proctor and Gamble is teaching Haitians to use them.

Greg Allgood: "And then you need to stir for 5 minutes."

Greg Allgood, Proctor & Gamble: "First it removes the dirt, the worms, and the parasites. The second, it kills the bacteria, and viruses...the germs that will make you sick."

Now with safe water to drink, these Haitians can turn their attention to other challenges ahead.

Greg Allgood: "Santé pour Haiti." ("To your health, Haiti.")

For the latest news and information on UMCOR's relief efforts in Haiti, call 800-554-8583.

You can donate online or make checks payable to UMCOR and mail to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. Please indicate Haiti Emergency, UMCOR Advance #418325 on the memo line of your check. One hundred percent of gifts made to this advance will go to help the people of Haiti.

Posted: February 17, 2010

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