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Clean, Fresh Water

For 457 Hondurans, Prince Frederick Rotary’s simple solution is salvation

 

Honduran mothers show off their children and a new water purification system.

      “Water is the driving force of all nature,” Leonardo da Vinci said.

      Yet 663 million of us do not have access to safe, clean water, according to thirstproject.org.

     In Honduras, 457 people now have access to water that is safe to drink, cook with and bathe in, thanks to a partnership between two Rotary Clubs, Prince Frederick and La Paz, Honduras.

     They joined to give a $5,000 grant to Honduras Compassion Partners to purchase and install 100 water filters in La Paz homes. The majority served by this project are women and children.

     Honduras Compassion Partners, headquartered locally in Huntingtown, also works on medical, education, poverty relief and business empowerment projects.

     “The water that people have is only on every eight to 10 days, and when it is on, it’s contaminated,” said Jeremy Robinson, Rotarian and president of Honduras Compassion Partners. “There’s a huge need in central Honduras, specifically in the city of La Paz.”

      When water is collected, it is held in large storage containers. “It has bad bacteria in it: Coliform, in some cases, E.coli.” Robinson said. 

    The Rotary Club’s goal is more than health and safety. Rotary aims to boost self-sufficiency and dignity. “It’s hard to move toward self-sufficiency when everybody is sick,” Robinson said.

    The solution is installing simple, inexpensive water filters in La Paz homes. 

     “A ceramic filter inside a plastic bucket is covered with silver,” Robinson said. “When dirty water is poured into the top, it’s filtered through and the unhealthy bacteria is removed. Clean water comes out.”

   “They filter and eliminate harmful bacteria,” said Honduras Rotarian and Partners leader Jonathan Zelaya, who managed the project. Seventeen Rotarians helped with installation in La Paz homes.

   Each filter costs about $40; they can be installed in roughly 30 minutes.

     That’s time enough, Robinson said, “to get into a family’s home, into a community and start building relationships with people so we can figure out how to help them become self-sufficient.”

    Education on hygiene is part of the discussion.

     “Like the importance of washing your hands after you use the restroom, so you don’t re-contaminate water that you’ve already cleaned,” Robinson said. Getting “to the root cause of many health and sanitary issues can transform a family’s life for generations.” 

     Learn about Honduras Compassion Partners’ regular trips to work on humanitarian projects in and around La Paz: hondurascompassion.partners.