ITT Industries donates clean water equipment, funds for tsunami survivors

The equipment will be donated by various divisions and operating units as a combined effort by many within ITT. Meanwhile, Dr. David Nabarro, head of crisis operations for the World Health Organization, said that the main threat to public health in the wake of the tsunami is contaminated drinking water...

CHARLOTTE, NC, Jan. 5, 2005 -- The devastating tsunami that struck southern Asia and the east coast of Africa on Dec. 26 was one of the worst natural disasters in recent history. The immediate impact -- more than 100,000 people killed and many more injured -- was staggering, but the aftermath could be similarly deadly if steps aren't taken quickly to address the issue of contaminated water supplies and the threat of waterborne diseases.

As a world leader in water technology, ITT Industries -- whose subsidiaries include makers of pumps, valves, filter, membrane, ozone, ultraviolet and analytical instrumentation systems for just about any water treatment application -- is donating water purifying equipment and expertise to some of the areas hardest hit by the killer waves and contributing financial aid to the global humanitarian relief effort.

A statement released by the company said, "ITT Industries has been monitoring events following the recent earthquake/tsunami in Southern Asia. Although we have employees based in that region, to the best of our knowledge, no ITT Industries employees or family members were impacted.

"ITT has mobilized numerous personnel around the world in recent days, working around the clock with international and local agencies to make some of our water purification equipment (and support personnel, where possible) available as quickly as possible in locations where it can do the most good."

The release continued, "In addition to providing water purification equipment and support, we are also planning to make a financial donation to help defray the enormous costs associated with providing relief to the victims. We have chosen the Red Cross/Red Crescent and OxFam as our agencies of choice for this donation since they are working on a global basis to support this humanitarian effort."

The company is preparing 60 portable ST1 water treatment units for delivery to the disaster area. Combined, they're capable of treating more than 100,000 gallons of water every hour. The units are diesel powered -- enabling them to operate in the many areas that are without electricity -- and simple to operate and maintain. Most important, they provide the level of treatment necessary to combat waterborne diseases such as cholera and giardiasis.

ITT Industries also plans to ship gas-fed chlorinators to relief organizers operating in the region. Again, the equipment is suitable for emergency use. It treats contaminated water supplies with chlorine and provides the people in need with safe, drinkable water.

In the immediate wake of the tsunami, ITT Industries executives and personnel from the company's Fluid Technology business unit (www.ittwater.com), began working around the clock with international and local agencies to ensure that this water purification equipment would be sent to locations where they can do the most good. A number of company representatives volunteered to travel to the impacted areas and serve as support personnel.

In addition to addressing the issue of water safety, ITT Industries is also donating $500,000 to help defray the enormous costs associated with providing relief to all victims of the tsunami. The funds will be sent to agencies working on a global basis to support the huge relief effort now underway throughout southern Asia and east Africa.

Other water industry commitments
Previously, the GE Foundation, affiliated with General Electric and its GE Infrastructure unit, pledged $1 million toward the SE Asia relief effort. In addition, Germany's Siemens, parent company of USFilter, said it would mobilize its companies in the region to assist as well as match employee contributions, for more than EUR1 million [US$1.35 million]. Canadian companies Trojan Technologies and Zenon Environmental also were sending equipment and/or funds to the region.

U.S. firms WaterChef Inc. and Air Water Corp. were donating equipment as well -- respectively, two PureSafe water treatment stations that treat up to 15,000 gallons a day and 20 AirWater Machines that extract water from humidity in the air. The WaterChef units were purchased by an Indian family living in New York for relief efforts. Air Water president Michael J. Zwebner also donated $25,000.

The American Water Works Association was pointing donors toward Water For People (WFP). Although it does work for improved water quality in Asia, Africa and Latin America through its programs, WFP, a Denver-based independent organization initially affiliated with the AWWA and supported by various organizations and companies in the water industry, pointed out that it's not an emergency relief organization. Instead, WFP agreed to serve as a liaison between the North American water industry and international relief organizations. In addition, it's currently accepting donations for long-term water and sanitation development projects in the 13 affected countries. For more information, call 800-926-7337 or visit its website: www.waterforpeople.org.

Emergency Relief Organizations
If you would care to assist in the humanitarian response to the disaster, also feel free to contact the following:
-- UNICEF: www.unicefusa.org or call 1-800-4UNICEF (86-4233).
-- American Red Cross: www.redcross.org or 1-800-HELP-NOW (435-7669)
-- Americares: www.americares.org or call AmeriCares directly at 1-800-486-HELP (4357)
-- CARE: www.care.org or 1-800-422-7385
-- Oxfam: www.oxfamamerica.org or 1-800-77-OXFAM (69326)
-- Save the Children: www.savethechildren.org or 1-800-728-3843
-- Doctors Without Borders: www.doctorswithoutborders.org
-- The Network for Good: www.networkforgood.org
-- Catholic Relief Services: www.catholicrelief.org
-- World Vision: www.worldvision.org

You can specify to direct your donations to South Asia Tsunami Relief Effort, but remember that a number of other areas of the world also may continue to need assistance as resources are redirected to this region.

For other reports on this topic, see: Tsunami Disaster Relief

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The above article was culled from items posted to PRNewswire, BusinessWire, MarketWire as well as personal interviews and various other sources.

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