As the horrific crisis in Puerto Rico continues, Christian relief group Operation Blessing International has announced a new partnership aimed at bringing desperately needed clean water to the U.S. territory. Desperate residents have been collecting contaminated water since the storm unfolded — and available tap water could also be tainted with raw sewage, since water treatment is still not operational.
The organization has joined forces with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Hispanic Federation to launch “Operation Agua,” an effort aimed at raising enough funds to provide safe drinking water to residents who are still facing dire straits after Hurricane Maria.
The specific goal is to raise enough funds to provide 100,000 water filtration systems for houses and classrooms as well as 50 large-capacity clean water devices. Considering that Puerto Rico is in its second month without electricity, food and water, these elements are much-needed.
“This is a national emergency the likes of which I have never seen,” AFT president Randi Weingarten said in a statement. “When I was in Puerto Rico, I saw children collecting water in contaminated streams; AFT nurses have treated people suffering from dehydration and in danger of contracting deadly diseases from drinking dangerous water.”
Operation Agua will rely on a number of tools to help offer water purification to Puerto Rico, including The Kohler Clarity Filter, which runs on gravity and doesn’t require electricity, as well as the The De Nora SANILEC 6 system, among other technologies.
“Operation Blessing has been working nonstop to help residents of Puerto Rico with a focus on providing safe water, as it remains in critically short supply even a month after the hurricane,” Operation Blessing International president Bill Horan said in a statement. “I am ecstatic about the launch of Operation Agua and partnering with the AFT, AFSCME, the Hispanic Federation and other like-minded organizations.”
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