WACO, TX, June 16, 2010 -- Mr. Rooter Plumbing and 3M Purification Inc. taught Haitians how to safely use their water while testing water sources, building water filters and establishing a micro-fund to help locals sell clean water throughout their village.
During the May 23-29 trip, they tested 10 wells in Haiti, discovering 45 percent of the water unsafe. Also high in bacteria, river water tested badly.
"The water was sickening," said Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Corporation. "You don't want to put your hand in it, let alone drink it or use the water for cooking and taking baths."
Using a chlorinator, Thompson and 3M Purification Inc. engineer Satish Chamyvelumani treated water while Toronto-based Mr. Rooter franchisee Derek Moreland taught Haitians how to make water filtration devices.
In addition to giving them capsules to keep water clean, Chamyvelumani brought test kits and bags 3M Purification Inc. donated. Chamyvelumani left the products behind, so Haitian women can continue to purify and bag water, providing their families with cleaner water.
"The kids were sick and had whelps on their legs from the poor quality of water," Thompson said. "Being in the Marine Corps I've seen devastation but nothing like this, and despite the tragedy, Haitians are still full of joy."
These companies hope to enable some of the 87 percent of jobless Haitians by teaching them how to purify and sell their water. Mr. Rooter will return later this year.
On the next trip, they will work on micro-funding for women selling water in Ferrier, while Mr. Rooter plumbers will build a water tower for 10 recently built homes in Leogane - epicenter of the earthquake. They will then lay a piping system with multiple spigots throughout the village.
"Instead of the Haitians having to fill up buckets and walk back and forth to get clean water, we want to make it easier for them," said Moreland, who made the pledge to help Haitians during a leadership meeting in January.
"The trip to Haiti provided many lessons that will enable 3M Purification Inc. to develop sustainable solutions to water quality issues faced daily by people in areas such as Haiti in an effort to bring those less fortunate clean water," Chamyvelumani said.
Web Site: http://www.mrrooter.com/