Press Release - 29th October 2018
Cast your minds back to late August this year.
Can you recall the headlines which hit our national press? They recounted disturbing stories of hundreds of thousands of citizens in Kerala, southern India, literally being washed out of their homes as a result of devastating floods?
As this was happening, thousands of miles away, this time south west Cameroon in Africa, very large numbers of people were being displaced, their villages burned down, violence perpetrated against them by the military under the control of the government. These villagers had no option other than to live in the bush as their physical communities no longer existed. Did you even know this was happening?
Then the press headlines once more took centre stage…
At the end of September, Typhoon Omphong (Mangkhut) hit the northern region of the Philippines, triggering flash floods, storm surges and wholesale landslides. Over a quarter of a million people were displaced; over 100 lost their lives. Health centres were unable to function and so the situation progressively worsened.
And finally, in our two month Aquabox odyssey, came the news that a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Indonesia, centred around the city of Palu. Almost 900 people lost their lives, many buried in massed graves to prevent the spread of disease. Other stories emerged detailing suffering too harrowing to report here.
Here are some common factors in all these tragedies.
The lives of individuals and whole communities can be destroyed in a frighteningly short time. The health of citizens is immediately at risk and access to safe drinking water is of paramount importance.
In each of the above human catastrophes, Aquabox was instrumental in providing meaningful, immediate and sustainable support. We supplied water purification filters and other items of humanitarian aid, all of which was distributed, securely and appropriately by our long-standing partners on the ground. The Rotary International organisation in particular was well placed for accurate assessment of need.
The water filters despatched from our Wirksworth depot in the past two months alone have the capacity to provide drinking water to over 35,000 needy citizens in some of the world’s most devastated areas. Since the filters can function for several years, this output may continue way beyond the immediate need. Significantly also, the output of these filters could mean that 1700 litre plastic bottles per minute no longer enter our environment.
Without clean drinking water, people suffer from the most debilitating diseases and this significantly impacts on their ability to rebuild and regenerate their communities and local economies.
We at Aquabox are extremely proud of what we achieve. We are a truly volunteer led charity. Our 70+ volunteers are our engine-room who give their time for free and quite simply without them we could not do what we do.
We rely TOTALLY on donations to continue our life-saving work. Can you help?
If you feel you are able to support us, details of how to do this can be found on our website www.aquabox.org. Donations can be made online, or by bank transfer, or alternatively cheques payable to Aquabox can be sent to Aquabox, PO Box 5398, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 4ZP. In particular, we would welcome corporate sponsorship. Please contact us if this is of interest.
Find out more about our work on our Facebook page or come along to see us at work at our depot. You can book a depot visit through our website and we would be very pleased to welcome you and show you around.
Aquabox is a charity affiliated to Rotary International and is based in Wirksworth, Derbyshire. Established in 1992, Aquabox has shipped over 110,000 boxes of humanitarian aid and filters to provide safe drinking water to communities affected by man-made and natural disasters in more than 50 countries around the world. The charity relies entirely on donations and fundraising to purchase the aid boxes and their contents. With over 70 volunteers and only one part-time paid administrator, the proportion of donations contributing directly to humanitarian aid is amongst the highest achievable. Aquabox received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in June 2016, in recognition of the contribution made by the charity and its volunteers and many supporters in helping those in need at times of crisis.