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Water Missions International One of the First to Reach Earthquake Victims in Indonesia

by Staff
October 6, 2009
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CHARLESTON, SC, ( -- Water Missions International (WMI) is on the ground and providing safe water for survivors of last week's earthquake in Sumatra. WMI's Indonesian staff has been working around the clock to assess the situation and determine the most appropriate ways to provide safe water to those in need. To date, one water treatment system has been positioned in Padang, one of the worst hit areas. The system has been mobilized (placed in the bed of a pick-up truck) to allow emergency water distribution to victims in refugee camps and areas that cannot be reached by most vehicles due to rubble-filled roadways. The water system is capable of treating 10,000 - 14,000 gallons of water each day. In a disaster situation, this is enough to provide drinking water for at least 10,000 people.

Twenty safe water storage tanks are expected to arrive in Padang today. The tanks will allow Water Missions International to set up multiple water distribution points and more efficiently provide water to a greater number of people. A second water treatment system will arrive early this week in Pariaman, another city devastated by last week's earthquake. Four additional water systems are being airlifted from Jakarta and are expected to arrive in Padang on Tuesday, October 6. These four systems, capable of providing drinking water for 40,000 earthquake victims, will be positioned once WMI's Indonesian staff is able to make further needs assessments.

"When we started supplying safe water to people, they were so excited and grateful. I felt like Santa Claus handing out presents to children. They crowded the truck and formed a long line to collect water for their families," said Daniel, WMI's Indonesian Program Director (name shortened to protect identity and ensure safety). "For many of these communities, the safe water we've provided has been the first aid they received since the quake. There are many more still in need and waiting for our help. We will continue to work as quickly as we can."

Because of Water Missions International's existing country program and full-time staff in Indonesia, the organization was able to react immediately and be one of the first to reach victims with much-needed aid. Although the relief efforts are already underway, donations are needed to support the work WMI has done so far and the work that remains. The need is great. Those who wish to help may do so online at or by calling (843) 769- 7395.

Water Missions International (WMI) is a nonprofit, Christian engineering organization based in Charleston, SC whose mission is to provide sustainable access to safe water and an opportunity to hear the Living Water message in developing countries and disaster areas. Assistance is provided regardless of age, sex, race, or faith. WMI's safe water solutions bring immediate and lasting benefits in health, dignity, education, productivity, and income generation to some of the world's most marginalized and forgotten people. WMI has provided safe water to more than 1.5 million people in 40 countries around the world. Visit us at

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