Clean water during emergencies and disaster relief

Obtaining reliable access to safe drinking water during emergency and disaster relief work can be more difficult than you might imagine. Existing supply options are cut due to damaged infrastructure. Cracked pipes and cross contamination is real. Within a short period water sources can be contaminated by run-off and familiar disease patterns arise, like cholera and typhoid. This is a real problem that requires immediate action.

Emergency workers can also be compromised

Getting functional and reliable drinking water solutions into the field is imperative to contain major outbreaks and prevent further depletion of stretched resources. Safe water requirements can transcend the immediate emergency period. Lets not forget that field workers and victims all need a medium term water supply because the water they drink can also be contaminated. Recent earthquake emergencies such those in Haiti and Christchurch highlighted this very fact! It is not well known that the health of relief workers can also be compromised.

Systems need to be compact, functional and affordable

Our experience is that, SkyHydrant units cannot be installed quick enough in these events. Hoses, pumps and installation can cause delays. The traditional solutions of a containerised water plant for bulk loads of bottled water take a long time to organise and deliver or install. Apart form the enormous logistical challenge, it is normal that this deployment can sometimes be up to two weeks. That’s a lot of time for people to go without clean water and SkyJuice has solutions.

Our Emergency Pump Kit

Our Emergency Pump Kit (EPK) has nailed the problem head on. It’s a comparatively small, self-contained solution. It’s basically a water treatment plant in a suitcase! Unlike bulky mechanical plants, the lightweight membrane filtration unit means the whole equipment is less than 40 kgs. That compares with the weight of several tonnes for traditional bulky plant. As you might expect, it comes with a dual-fuel (petrol/diesel) pump, hoses, filter and water tanks. The EPK can run for weeks, providing time for a longer-term solution to be implemented. The EPK can produce up to 5,000L of water per day, which is enough to support about 500 workers. It’s a fast and convenient way to produce clean water without chemical additives.

The EPK is another innovative solution to ensure that relief teams, as well as local people, can avoid the risks of post disaster disease. Many of our partner organisations such Oxfam, Disaster Aid and others have utilised them for operations in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. The affordable cost means response based NGO’s such as the Red Cross and AusAID can keep multiple units on standby, ready to go whenever they need to respond to a crisis.

Sooner or later, these pump kits will become a standard part of every disaster relief team’s gear.

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