BVI, Caribbeanand International News

Unite BVI teams up with WAVES4WATER for st. Vincent volcano relief

Unite BVI teams up with WAVES4WATER for st. Vincent volcano relief

The Unite BVI Foundation recently teamed up with ‘Waves4Water’ to provide clean drinking water for St. Vincent residents affected by the La Soufrière volcanic eruption.

Waves4Water is an international non-profit organisation and creator of portable water filtration solutions for vulnerable communities, with a particular focus on emergency disaster response.

The Unite BVI team worked directly with Waves4Water Community Director, Mr. Fritz Pierre-Louis to provide a total of 200 ‘MVP Point ONE water filters’ and 200 five-gallon water buckets.

Unite BVI Foundation Manager Kim Takeuchi said that this is the second time we have worked with Waves4Water, who first partnered in 2017 after the passing of Hurricane Irma.

Ms. Takeuchi remarked, “We first met Waves4Water following the storms from 2017. They had a simple method of distributing these filters by empowering community leaders to train and distribute the easy-to-use, effective filters exponentially throughout the community. We wanted to help make a similar impact on the island of St. Vincent but the concern was, will they be able to filter out the ash? The answer is – Yes!”

The MVP filters eliminate various contaminants which cause illnesses including Cholera, Botulism, Typhoid, Amoebic Dysentery, E. coli, Coliform Bacteria, Streptococcus, Salmonella and toxic volcanic ash. One filter can provide 100 people with clean water daily, for up to 5 years.

Unite BVI, and its donor partners, raised the funds to purchase and transport 200 water filtration systems and buckets. Funding also covered the transportation and accommodation costs for one Waves4Water representative to travel to St. Vincent.

Ms. Takeuchi thanked Mr. Pierre-Louis, Honorable Caesar, Ms. Michelle Forbes from CDEMA, the Government of the Virgin Islands, Mrs. Aliaka Jones, Mr. Luke Browne, Mr. Brain Glasgow, Mr. Michael Clarence Thomas of CTL, Alex Dick-Read and everyone who played an instrumental role in the St. Vincent relief effort.

On the Ground in St. Vincent

Mr. Pierre-Louis arrived in St. Vincent on April 3, where he partnered with Honorable Saboto Caesar, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry & Labour to distribute the filtration systems in the areas of Sandy Bay, South Central and Rose Hall. He worked for six (6) days in the ‘red zone’, the area delineated as most vulnerable to the volcanic eruption. While there, he trained residents on how to properly set up, use and maintain the filtration systems.

“The residents were very happy to receive the donations. I observed how residents got together in a time of need, and they waited for their turn to get the filtration systems,” Mr. Pierre-Louis said, adding, “Sometimes in emergency responses, people are aggressive, but they were very patient.”

He also stated, “I was happy to be on the ground to help residents. Now they have their own mini ‘water plant’ in their homes. Even when the water situation improves, they’ll still be able to save their systems, for any possible future events.”

The community director said that one farmer lauded the filtration systems, as he was able to access clean water “in just seconds”.

La Soufrière volcano, on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean, began erupting on April 9, spewing plumes of ash and gas on the island for over a week. Dense masses of debris, called pyroclastic flows, have caused much destruction.

The Unite BVI Foundation brings together people, great ideas and resources to tackle community and environmental challenges in ways that bring about sustainable, positive impact for the benefit of this and future generations.

Go to www.unitebvi.com for more information on the activities and programmes of the foundation. For more information on Waves4Water, go to https://www.wavesforwater.org/.


Related Articles