By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9
EDMOND, Oklahoma -- The need for clean water in Haiti is urgent. Thousands of those displaced have no access to water. Until electricity is restored in Port-au-Prince, water treatment facilities won't be able to produce any clean water.
Officials say Haiti's water system wasn't good before the earthquake. There's no telling how bad the situation is now, given the widespread damage. That's why one Oklahoma-based charity is providing a tool that will be especially useful in the earthquake-ravaged country.
It's a water-straw filter and it's distributed by Water is Life in Edmond. Each filter contains charcoal, membrane and iodine crystals that make dirty water, clean.
Water is Life is clearing out every single straw filter they have on emergency stockpile in the office, totaling 500.
"We have others that are already ordered, thousands that are in route, and we're adding to that order every day as we get donations in," the founder of Water is Life, Ken Surritte said.
The effort started with a call from Senator Jim Inhofe asking the Oklahoma-based charity to send filters to Haiti immediately. Through the International Relief and Development office, and US-AID, Water is Life will not only to provide clean water for the locals devastated by the earthquake, but also for the relief workers traveling into Haiti to help.
"My heart goes out to the people that are there because we can't get relief in there fast enough," said Surritte. "The infrastructure is not there, the means of communication, the control and the security issues are huge. It seems like at this point there's nothing that can be done. But, in the next couple of weeks, things will start to come together."
The filters are proven technology. Thousands have been sent into several African nations. Each filter provides three liters of clean water a day, for one year. The straws are saving lives.
"In some of these areas, children get only a few ounces of water a day and this gives them enough that they can not only sustain their life, but they can thrive," Surritte said.
The first shipment to Haiti is on its way. Thousands more are on order. The goal is to send 10,000 to 20,000 straws as soon as possible.
Water is life can only order filters as fast as the money comes in. One filter can be sent with $10.
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