When the devastating earthquake hit Haiti earlier this year, Pittsburgh companies were some of the first to provide necessary aid. Now with the recent cholera outbreak and further damage and flooding from Hurricane Tomas, those Pittsburgh companies are stepping up their efforts to address the volatile situation in Haiti. LANXESS Corporation, NOVA Chemicals and PPG Industries are working with Deep Springs International (DSI), a Grove City, PA-based non-profit organization that empowers Haitians to obtain safe drinking water in their homes and is now providing the necessary relief supplies to properly treat drinking water in areas at the heart of the disasters.
DSI was on the ground in Haiti for three years before the earthquake hit, helping to improve the health of the population by distributing safe water storage containers and liquid chlorine solution to safely treat drinking water in order to prevent disease. As the cholera epidemic continues to spread throughout Haiti, DSI has responded by providing chlorine solution for use in the water distribution network in St. Marc and 353 schools in the Artibonite region – the epicenter of the outbreak – as well as 16 other communities in which DSI has previously established programs.
With the added concerns that the flooding caused by Hurricane Tomas will further spread the disease, DSI’s corporate partners secured funds for the distribution of 900 additional gallons of liquid chlorine solution and 500,000 solid chlorine tablets necessary for treating the affected water. DSI’s work since the outbreak of cholera has provided treatment for more than twelve million gallons of water.
“Our wide-ranging partner network, including 152 community health workers, who were diligently working to deliver and monitor the clean water systems, are now working double time to prevent the spread of cholera,” explained Michael Ritter, program director, DSI. “Thanks to the unwavering corporate support that funded the project, we’ve been able to exceed our goals and now provide assistance with the cholera outbreak.”