Supporting Healing Waters in the Dominican Republic and Beyond

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Healing Waters International empowers local partners to bring physical, social, and spiritual transformation to poor communities by providing sustainable, safe water solutions.  The organization was founded by Tom and Dana Larson in February 2002.  By the end of 2004, Healing Waters had 24 self-sustaining water projects in the Dominican Republic, and had launched its first three projects in Chiapas, Mexico.  In 2005, Healing Waters began operations in Guatemala.  Today, they have more than 100 water projects in Latin America, and are continuing to expand to serve new countries and regions of the world.

The Technology

20130104_103118Healing Waters has addressed the growing need for a low-cost, high-performing water filtration system that could be easily transported and installed anywhere in the world.  The result is PowerPure UF, a simple and innovative water purification unit that can be installed by people with basic mechanical skills.  This highly capable treatment system provides three levels of filtration including a pre-filter, carbon filter and ultrafiltration plus chlorine-based injection that keeps water safe through collection, transportation and storage.  The water system features an integrated bottle sanitizing station that injects a chlorine-based sanitizer into the wash stream to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, and other biological contaminants that may be in the bottle.  Every bottle is sanitized before it is filled to ensure that safe water doesn’t go into a dirty container.  PowerPure UF a low-cost, high-impact sustainable water solution that runs about one-third the cost of comparable systems.

The Project

In January, 2013, I traveled with a small delegation to the Dominican Republic.  Ed Anderson, CEO of Healing Waters International, accompanied us on our trip.  The team visited five sites where we got to see first-hand the impact of the PowerPure UF technology.  Locations included Las Mercedes, Jacagua, Batey Margarita, Gualey, and Santo Domingo.

There was no doubt in my mind that we visited some of the most impoverished-stricken areas in the country.  From tiny, sand-bottomed shanties to dr6stream-side trash dumps, living conditions of many in this country were beyond desolate.  Municipal and well water was largely accessible, but with insufficient sewage sanitation, water in these areas is often riddled with high levels of coliforms and potential pathogens.  Nearly all private households drink bottled water for health reasons, but costs tend to be prohibitively expensive for families living in the barrios of Las Mercedes or the remote sugarcane fields of Batey Margarita.

There was also no doubt in my mind that the work of Healing Waters was having a dramatic positive impact on the people of these communities.  Their holistic community development model focused on emergent local leaders taking deliberate actions to encourage sanitation and safe clean water use.  While the organization works with community leaders to bring in the water treatment systems, an educational health and hygiene curriculum teaches children and adults about the importance of safe water.  During our trip, we saw this program being taught in progress with resounding success.  Healing Waters also focuses on providing a long-lasting and sustainable impact by empowering local leaders to take control of these systems after installation.  I believe this instilled responsibility and “ownership” in the system by all who benefited from the program.

dr7In our travels, I was struck by the kindness and generosity of the people with whom we engaged.  Despite the poverty that surrounded us, there remained an overwhelming sense of community in all of the sites that we visited.  Basic human needs must be met, yet our own sense of humanity seems to be a universal ideal.

This year, TurnerNetwork.org will support Healing Waters International and their continuing efforts to deliver cost-efficient clean drinking water to the people of the Dominican Republic and beyond.  We will donate a sum equal to or greater than 15% of total referral earnings revenue from sales on TurnerNetwork Media and Amazon.TurnerNetwork.com.  After witnessing the efforts of this organization, I encourage others to consider their mission, and become engaged in making a direct impact in the lives of those less fortunate through access to one of the most fundamental human necessities: water.

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For more information about the mission of Healing Waters International, please visit www.healingwaters.org.