Florida-based Aqua Sciences sent one of its atmospheric water extraction machines to Haiti on 28 January. Since then, the device has been operating around the clock at Port-au-Prince’s University Hospital to provide drinking water for the hospital and at drop-off points around the city.
The clean water also helps with surgical scrubbing and cleaning wounds.
“Sources on the ground have told me that the doctors, nurses, patients and soldiers have dubbed our system the ‘miracle machine,’ ” Abe M. Sher, Aqua Sciences’ CEO, writes on the company’s website.
According to the company, it’s the first time its machine has been used for relief efforts. The firm says its devices can provide between 350 and 1,200 gallons of water per day, and can be powered by either electricity or a self-contained diesel generator.
Aqua Sciences coordinated the effort to bring the water-from-air machine to Haiti with the help of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Department of Defense/US Southern Command and the US State Department/USAID. The 40-foot-long device was originally purchased by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2006.
Buford L. Rolin, chairman of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, said tribal authorities worked with the US government and relief agency authorities to arrange for shipping the machine from the tribe’s reservation in Alabama.
“I think everyone who has seen the pictures from Haiti wants to help any way that they can,” Rolin said. “If we can assist by bringing clean water to that traumatised country, we can help save lives and ensure against outbreak of diseases like cholera.”