Press Release - 1st November 2016
Just days after Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti, the humanitarian aid charity Aquabox, based in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, had swung into action. Working with two other UK-based Rotary charities, Aquabox airfreighted water filters capable of removing cholera and the vast majority of other water borne bacteria and viruses from 30 million litres of polluted water.
The charity has also just sent a large container of water filters and other humanitarian aid including tools, materials to create shelters or repair roofs and essential first aid, hygiene and household items by sea to support families. These will be distributed in the worst affected areas by the Rotary Disaster Relief Team in Haiti.
But with each consignment costing £80,000, the charity’s funds are running short to cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Large parts of towns and villages have been flattened, crops destroyed and animals drowned. There is a shortage of food and cases of cholera are rising sharply, putting children at particular risk.
Mike Tomlinson, Chairman of Trustees said: “We are really grateful to the people in the region for their overwhelming response to our appeal. We have had many donations of money, aid items for the boxes and baby and children’s clothes, but we urgently need more if we are to continue to provide support to affected families during this critical period.
Aquabox is a charity affiliated to Rotary International and is based in Wirksworth, Derbyshire. Established in 1992, Aquabox has shipped over 110,000 boxes of humanitarian aid and filters to provide safe drinking water to communities affected by man-made and natural disasters in more than 50 countries around the world. The charity relies entirely on donations and fundraising to purchase the boxes and their contents. With over 70 volunteers and only one part-time administrator, the proportion of total donations contributing directly to humanitarian aid is amongst the highest achievable. Aquabox received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in June 2016, which recognised the contributions made by the charity and its volunteers and many supporters in helping those in need at times of crisis.