Stories from the field
While John Hays, PWFA founder, was in Tanzania working on providing clean drinking water to rural communities, a local man asked if he could show him something important. The man took John to a very large field that had small piles of hay dotting the field as far as the eye could see. John, an Iowa native, couldn't figure out the significance of what he was seeing. The man then proceeded to explain to him that each one of the hay mounds marked a grave site, where a child was buried. The cause of death, drinking diseased, contaminated water. Overcome with grief and pained by the large number of graves, John immediately started on getting units to work in the area, treating and cleaning up the local water supplies. A short time later, reports started coming out of the same region. There was great joy in the knowledge that since the installation of the water systems, John learned that there had been no new hay mounds added to the field.
Haiti, April 2009:
More than half of the eight million people living in Haiti don't have access to clean water. In April 2009, ten chlorine producing units were purchased and taken into Haiti with 6 water units being distributed in Jacmel.
Six locals were trained to use the chlorine producing units and when they return to their communities, provide clean drinking water for the first time ever!
Working alongside an organization called Mission of Hope the other 4 water units were placed. Two were placed in remote mountain villages with the final two were placed in orphanages.
Niger, September 2009:
Niger is considered one of the world's least developed countries. It has high infant, child and maternal mortality rates as there is limited access to sanitation facilities and clean water.
PWFA was able to send 21 water units and train local leaders in how to use them to bring life saving clean water to people living in rural outlying areas.
The sounds of the African plains fill the night as John Hays attempts to get some sleep. It is difficult with the stifling heat and the biting of the bugs but most heart wrenching are the cries that are heard from young village children and babies. The cries caused from piercing belly pain due to parasitic and other infections caused from ingesting untreated water. At times the crying will stop only to be replaced by the wails of a mother who holds her now lifeless child in her arms. PWFA was able to install a water unit in this village to assist in preventing future water borne illnesses. The sorrow of knowing we were too late for some, knowing that we can make a difference in the lives of others keeps us going.
Asia, November 2009:
Typhoon Ketsana struck several SE Asia countries displacing hundreds of thousands of residents in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Residents there have been left without shelter, food or access to clean drinking water. PWFA sent 80 water units directly into these hard hit regions.