Helping hand and clean water headed to Haiti

WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCIV) -- 18 months have passed since Haiti was rocked by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that brought the struggling island nation to its knees.

While the country is trying to rebuild -- many are still living without clean water.

But relief is on the way this week.{} Crews at Water Missions International in West Ashley are busy packing and building 40 new water purification systems as Haiti's rainy season gets under way.

The images from January 18th, 2010 are hard to forget, cities decimated, children crying the streets, tent cities housing thousands of refugees.

"Over all Haiti is rebuilding, Water Missions International Communication Director Lynn Beahm said. {}"I think it still has a long way to go, but there is a lot of hope."

Hope and help are still flowing in the form of clean water - Water Missions international builds and ships the small water purification systems- over 200 have already been delivered, each with the capacity to generate up to 10 thousand gallons of drinking water each day.

And the new shipment couldn't have come at a better time.

"We are really trying to prepare ourselves for the rainy season because cholera is starting to be seen again," Beahm said.

The World Health Organization estimates over 2,600 new cholera cases are showing up in Haiti. While the death rates have gone down, contaminated water is still a major health risk.

"There is still a lot of education that needs to be done, with our systems we teach them about health and hygiene they still don't know that they need to wash there hands," Beahm said.

Clean water is a cause Mary Jaggers believes in so much, she and 75 members of her church traveled from Louisville Kentucky to lend a hand.

"As I've been building these pieces, I've been thinking about all the children in other countries that are going to have fresh water, that are going to feel better, that are going to be able to go to school because they are not going to have to carry water back and forth," she said.

And while the images and the headlines may have faded, the cause is stronger now than ever

"I don't think when you turn on your tap that there are people that cant do that they have to walk miles to get water." Beahm said.

But thanks those willing to walk a mile in their shoes like Mary Jaggers and the dedicated team of volunteers and donors, support for the people of Haiti is still at the forefront.

Those 40 purification systems should be on the ground in Haiti in the next month.

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