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Clean water is something we take for granted every day. But in Nicaragua, according to the World Health Organization, thousands of people contact illnesses, and hundreds, mainly children, die from the lack of clean water.
For the last 8 years we have cooperated with a local representative of Emergency Response Services for Latin America (ERSLA) to fund simple water filters for 10 small villages near Somoto. These water filtration systems can eliminate 99.88% of water borne disease agents, and can filter enough water for the daily use of a typical family. The filters are produced in Nicaragua, create local jobs, and are designed to last five years. The filters cost $50 each, and we have supplied about 500 filters to the villages.
Local medical organizations provide recommendations for the villages in greatest need. We then fund the purchase of the water filters through ERSLA. ERSLA arranges for transportation of the filters to each village.
Local fire fighters assemble the filters and explain their operation in the villages. They also use this opportunity to gain public support, educate users, oversee continued use of the filters, and deliver the filters to each house in the village. This delivery allows them to do an informal inspection of each house and offer fire protection suggestions. GPS coordinates are established for each house in the village to facilitate emergency response in the event of a future disaster. Mission group members participate in the delivery of the filters, but maintain a low presence, and allow the fire fighters to be the heroes.