Meet Gustaf Söderberg, a 24 year old man from Sweden, whose response to the 2010 catastrophic earthquake in Haiti was, "I had always wanted to do something to help others. Now I decided to do it". This was his opportunity. Following two weeks of watching and reading reports and doing an independent study of the situation, he recognized that the greatest need would be clean water. In his words, "Without that [clean water] the rest of the rebuilding of the country could not take place."
His research led him to a company [in Sweden] that was producing a piece of equipment that was an ideal for Haiti's need of clean water. It was a water purification machine called a PORTABLE PRO. From the website we read;
The steel-framed Portable Pro is used at the point-of-need, where there is a combined demand for premium water quality and a high volume output. Equipped with wheels, the unit weighs about 125 kg and is easily transported in the terrain. . . . . . Polluted water from the ground, wells, rivers or lakes is purified by removing e.g., particles, odor, taste, heavy metals, bacteria and viruses, in compliance with the quality regulations of the WHO [which means no added chemicals]. Portable purifies between 0,5 and 1up to 264 gallons] of water every hour, is delivered ready to use and does not require skilled personnel for its operation."If you have ever read anything about Haiti or better yet if you have visited Haiti, you know that the specifications listed for this machine could not be a more perfect match for the conditions in Haiti.
According to Gustaf, because of its reputation as a "serious organization and with its longtime knowledge of and presence in Haiti," he chose Star of Hope to be the recipient of this magnanimous gift. As you can imagine, the technology involved in producing such a sophisticated piece of equipment, is costly - $22,000. He spent 10 months procuring the money to purchase the Portable Pro, the majority of the funding came from corporations. He then approached the air freight companies of which one did consent to carry the "precious cargo" to Haiti at NO charge. The normal cost would have been $2,000.
As soon as the Pro arrived in Haiti and had cleared customs, Gustaf then traveled to Haiti, at his own expense. He wanted to make sure they understood the versatility of this wonderful machine as well as show them how to use it.
The Star of Hope Haiti staff chose the school in Rigaud to receive this machine. The school project is well managed and they have an adequate supply of water to take full advantage of the machine's capabilities to purify large quantities of water. That increases the probability of a sustained operation. Machine, power, water tanks and plumbing will all be installed inside the school yard.
The plan is to sell the excess potable water. This will benefit the entire community. A small kiosk, like the one in the picture below, will be built with a window that opens outside the school yard. People will be able to bring their own containers and purchase water. The funds generated from these sales will provide money for the maintenance and expendable supplies the machine uses.
Star of Hope Haiti, just like every other Star of Hope operation, sets a yearly budget January 1st for all school operations. The money is designated for all of the various projects. The Portable Pro is in Haiti. It has cleared customs (for a fee) and is ready to be installed. Unfortunately the $16,439 needed to build the kiosk, do the plumbing and purchase the tanks to get to get the project started was not included in the budget.
This is an excellent project because it doesn't just "give" them free, clean water. It also gives them a "business" that will help support the school while combating cholera and other water borne diseases. Undoubtedly, many will assume that the administrators should rob Peter to pay Paul. That is not realistic in these situations. We cannot take food out of the children's mouths even to provide clean water.
For this reason we ask your support to complete this project. Every day that this machine sits idle means more children are getting sick - unnecessarily.
One young man in Sweden committed a great deal of time, effort and money out of his own pocket to realize this project. The greatest amount of time and expense has already been invested. Please consider helping us cross the finish line and get this thing in full production.
It is easy to be a part of this project. Simply make an on-line donation to help complete the installation.
If you are interested in company that produces this machine go to: http://www.josab.com. If you only wish to read more details about this specific machine go to: http://www.josab.com/Brochure/Aqualite_introduction_2007.pdf