Dallas, Texas. Thursday – April 29, 2015 — On April 25th, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck approximately 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu – tremors were felt across northern India and neighboring Bangladesh and Pakistan. 15,000 people are camped-out in the center of Kathmandu, a city of roughly 1 million people. There is a massive shortage of potable water and sewage systems are broken and overflowing. The health effects of poor sanitation following a disaster can linger for years. Lack of access to clean water and sewage infrastructure in Haiti ’s squalid camps following the 2010 earthquake led to a cholera outbreak that remains ongoing, killing over 8,000 and leaving thousands more sickened.
In response to the Government of Nepal ’s declaration of a state of emergency and requests for humanitarian assistance, Linking the World is proud to announce a partnership to supply LifeStraw ® Community water purifiers being delivered to community-based organizations (CBO's) who will distribute and maintain the purifiers in the affected communities. The first LifeStraw® Community units arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal over the last twenty-four hours.
“Clean water is one of the most critical post-disaster needs. The lack of clean water increases the number of affected people exponentially, especially children who are the most vulnerable to waterborne disease and infection,” said Mina Chang, Linking the World CEO. “We are immensely grateful to our proud partner LifeStraw® who arranged, through their generous donors, the donation of LifeStraw® Community water purifiers that will provide clean water for human consumption, medical needs, and search and rescue efforts.
”LifeStraw ® Community is a high-volume water purifier with built-in safe storage that converts microbiologically contaminated water into safe drinking water. Each LifeStraw ® Community purifier provides safe drinking water for up to 100 individuals per day. It ’s a vital tool for community, educational and institutional settings that don’t have access to safe water, leaving !them!at risk for diarrheal disease. LifeStraw® has been field tested in harsh environments and vigorously tested in the laboratory where it has exceeded US EPA requirements for household water treatments. LifeStraw® Family and Community also meet World Health Organization standards for the “Highly Protective” category of safe drinking water.
It is important to note that while we are responding to an immediate critical need, the long-term implications for recovery related to water safety, are nearly incalculable. Water is the building block for recovery on all levels. Historically in disasters, where a near complete destruction of supporting infrastructures (shelter, sanitation, transportation and communications) and the provision of clean water is compromised, recovery has taken decades, not years. The toll of widespread disease and death may be many times greater and the actual financial cost of recovery will grow almost exponentially.
About Linking the World
Since 1997, Linking The World has been saving and improving lives in the world's toughest places. Our network of committed humanitarians have responded to the global challenges of disaster, conflict and extreme poverty; enabling individuals, families and communities to survive crisis and build sustainable futures in forty-three countries. The mission of Linking the World is to deliver humanitarian aid that builds communities marked by self-reliance, sustainable infrastructures and lasting change.
LifeStraw® is manufactured by Vestergaard, a Swiss-based global company dedicated to improving the health of disadvantaged people with game-changing solutions that fight malaria, HIV/AIDS, diarrheal disease and neglected tropical diseases. The company is the largest producer of long-lasting insecticidal bed nets that prevent malaria under the PermaNet® brand, and its award-winning LifeStraw® water filters have been designed for individual, family and community uses. Under the ongoing LifeStraw® Follow the Liters program, for each LifeStraw® product purchased by someone in the developed world, one school child in a developing community is provided with safe drinking water for an entire school year.
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