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CARE Convoy Heads Through Streets Of Port-au-Prince To Distribute Water Purification Supplies
by Rick Perera, emergency media coordinator in Haiti
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I'm with a convoy of three CARE vehicles carrying water purification supplies form the airport to three different points of distribution. In order to avoid the risk of mobs trying to take materials, we're using ordinary SUVs ’” Toyota Land Cruisers ’” and piling the materials low enough so they can be covered and out of view from the windows.
The water mains are broken in some places and people are washing their clothes in the gutters. I can only imagine people are also drinking that water, which is really dangerous.
We have enough purification packets with us right now to provide 75,000 people with 3 liters of clean water a day for 10 days. The powder comes in ketchup-like packets. You add the powder to containers of water, let it stand for five minutes and then use a filter to strain the solids out. Any piece of cloth will do.
Shortly, we'll be distributing them at the La Paix Hospital, the General Hospital and a medical facility whose French name translates as "Little Brothers and Sisters." It might take up to three hours to do the distribution. Other agencies are giving out supplies at these locations, too. We have heard that it's an orderly situation, as there are multinational U.N. troops providing security for the distributions.
Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/CARE