Solar-powered water purification units ship to Haiti

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Jan. 26, 2010 -- Of the $2.5 million that GE has targeted for earthquake relief in Haiti, $1 million will be used to help the next phase of the response effort -- recovery. That stage is already underway with solar-powered water purification units now shipping to the devastated country, along with critically needed medical technologies (such as ultrasound, anesthesia and x-ray) and mobile video units to help search and rescue teams. In addition to the $2.5 million pledge, GE employees have donated $1.5 million to organizations supporting the relief efforts, half of which comes from matching grants from the GE Foundation.

Operates anywhere: The technology effectively treats groundwater, surface-water, and recycled rainwater or cistern water. They are solar-powered, portable, and able to produce clean drinking water using the same membrane treatment technology used by large scale treatment plants.

In addition to the Sunspring water purification systems -- which GE Water & Process Technologies makes with our partner, Innovative Water Technologies -- GE Healthcare has shipped anesthesia units, ultrasound machines and mobile x-ray units. GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies is also sending portable video cameras that can snake into hard to reach places in order to aid search & rescue efforts.

"A single Sunspring unit is capable of producing 19,000 liters of drinkable water every day," notes CBS news in its story about the shipment. "The units are quick to deploy and can be operational three hours after arrival." That means they can have an immediate impact -- but they can also be of critical use long-term, as they operate for years.

In addition to GE's financial donations to the Red Cross and UNICEF, the GE Foundation -- the philanthropic organization of GE -- is committing a 100 percent match of all employee donations sent to qualified organizations supporting Haiti relief efforts.

"Recognizing the overwhelming blow this disaster has brought to the Haitian people and the country's infrastructure, GE is committed to help the region in this critical time of need," said Bob Corcoran, vice president of GE Foundation. "The generosity and activation of our employees is inspiring and the GE Foundation is proud to match their philanthropic efforts."

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