Video: Getting safe drinking water to Haiti

Haiti, January 17, 2010

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    Mercy Corps' Mugur Dumitrache connects a water-purification system on loan from ITT that delivers up to 6,800 liters of potable water an hour to 40,000-person La Libertad, Honduras, whose municipal water system was damaged by floods in 2008. Photo:

Scarcity of safe drinking water is one of the largest challenges in post-earthquake Haiti. Through a partnership with the water treatment and transport leader ITT, we're getting five water-filtration devices to supply as many as 25,000 people with clean water.

We recently used these or similar machines to deliver clean water to 40,000 residents of a Sri Lanka displacement camp, and before that to 50,000 people in Honduras after extensive flooding in 2008.

The assistance is part of ITT's three-year, $1 million commitment to help provide safe water during emergencies created by natural catastrophes such as floods, droughts and earthquakes.

The standalone, portable, self-contained devices are on the move to Port-au-Prince from where they've been stored — waiting for an emergency like this — in Norway and Honduras.

We're also anticipating delivery of three desalinization devices, which would provide the option of making nearby seawater fit for drinking. These are coming from Texas.

Each of the water-filtration devices can filter 4,000 liters of water per hour, enough for approximately 3,000 to 5,000 people. (Please note the number of people it can serve has been corrected since this post was first published.) You can read more about them here, or watch the video below.