In every disaster that we respond to, Water Mission seeks to provide solutions for both the immediate and long-term needs of the people that have been impacted. Generally speaking, these needs fall into three categories:
In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, relief and recovery get the most attention, but resilience is often an area that gets overlooked. In addition to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, we responded to new disaster-related needs around the world, but also continued to support past disaster relief efforts transition into a Resilience focused result. Each safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) solution was designed to leave communities stronger and more resilient in the face of future challenges.
This approach aligns with our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which target the most pressing issues across the globe. With your support, our work is helping meet the goals of ending poverty, ensuring access to safe water and sanitation, and increasing communities’ adaptive capacity to natural disasters.
The Bahamas: Rebuilding Better
Water Mission used solar technology to power the largest municipal water system in the Abacos, the Bahamas, following Hurricane Dorian. Designed to withstand hurricane-strength winds, these solar-powered solutions are able to provide reliable water for thousands of people during future disasters. We also worked in six public schools in the remote outer islands. We engineered and installed rainwater collection, storage, treatment, and distribution solutions that allow the schools to operate off-grid and benefit local communities when future disasters strike.
Water Mission partnered with St. Bernard Project and the Sextant Foundation to provide safe and reliable water to medical facilities in the Bahamas. With our expertise and technology, the largest of these projects uses reverse osmosis (RO) to supply potable water to the entire Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama. Another RO unit will be installed at Eight Mile Rock Clinic in Grand Bahama. Rainwater collection and treatment systems serve health clinics in Green Turtle Cay, Cooperstown, and Fox Town.
COVID-19: A Global Response
Water Mission provided more than 800,000 people around the world with access to safe water and hand soap in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We installed over 8,550 handwashing stations in healthcare facilities and high-traffic settings. We also developed resources in local languages to educate communities on hygiene practices that are always critical, not just during a pandemic.
Puerto Rico: January Earthquakes
Water Mission rapidly deployed safe water systems in Puerto Rico following two major earthquakes in January. Our resilience-focused efforts stemming from the 2017 destruction of Hurricane Maria also bore significant fruit this year. Since 2017 we have solarized water systems in over 20 rural communities where we originally responded with relief.
Using solar energy to power the water systems meant they continued functioning after significant sections of the electrical grid went down following the January earthquakes. We also finished installing 43 solar-powered water systems in public schools, ensuring reliable safe water is available when future disasters strike.
You are helping us serve people with practical, immediate, and long-term solutions, bringing them hope and the love of Christ amid their trials. Please continue to pray for the people of the Bahamas. Pray also for the resilience-focused rebuilding after Hurricane Dorian—the worst natural disaster the country has ever experienced.