Nov 26 2013
Millions in the Philippines are homeless….thousands are dead….devastation is indescribable. Can we dare to hope for a silver lining in Typhoon Haiyan? Modern history--and the engineers of Water Missions International--say YES…today's suffering can motivate tomorrow's solutions.
Consider the impact of other monster storms: In the wake of the giant tsunami in 2004, Indonesia has implemented a new disaster-management strategy that could save countless lives in the future. Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged New Orleans in 2005, sparked a spirit of reform and poverty relief in the Big Easy. The list goes on.
So, what is the silver lining in Typhoon Haiyan? Life-saving, long-term safe water solutions.
Months before the most powerful storm on record slammed into the Philippines, experts worldwide warned of impending doom in the Philippines that could kill millions. The "Asian Water Development Outlook 2013 Report"—released on World Water Day, March 22, 2013—sounded the alarm for an "imminent water crisis" in the region if immediate steps were not taken to improve water quality and management (Asian Water Development Outlook 2013 Report).
"When Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines, we already had engineers on the ground in the region working to design and implement strategic, long-term, safe water solutions," said chemical engineer George Greene III, president and CEO of Water Missions International, a nonprofit, Christian relief and development engineering organization, providing sustainable safe water and sanitation solutions for people in developing countries and natural disasters. "Of course, our immediate focus shifted to helping the Super Typhoon Haiyan victims simply survive," said Greene, whose organization has responded to every major natural disaster since 2001.
Water Missions International has activated emergency water supply efforts helping victims in the hardest hit areas. By Thanksgiving, the organization will have mobilized additional equipment and staff to serve 63 Philippine communities and a total of 315,000 people with their daily drinking water needs now--and for up to 20 years after installation--with training of local residents by Water Missions staff and engineers.
This kind of immediate and sustainable solutions is what corporate sponsors like Fed Ex, and partners like Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse and The Pentair Foundation say motivate them to work alongside Water Missions International.
Water Missions is hoping that today's outreach to meet the immediate needs of the Philippines, will stimulate increased awareness of and support for efforts to head-off an even worse, yet preventable disaster. "Water-borne diseases threaten to claim far more lives in the Philippines than Typhoon Haiyan. If we heed the warnings now and act, we can give them safe drinking water and sanitation for generations to come," said Greene, who looks forward to the day when we can look back on Typhoon Haiyan and say, "Out of that wall of water that killed thousands came safe water that is saving millions."
Water Missions International, led and staffed by top engineers from across the U.S., is currently seeking support for immediate and long-term safe water solutions in the Philippines. For more information and contributions, visit watermissions.org/haiyan
High res photos & video: watermissions.org/haiyan
For Interviews & Personal Stories from Philippines or US:
Water Missions International 843.769.7395
Water Missions International