Global aid giant, Mercy Corps, has partnered with the high-tech manufacturing and engineering company, ITT Corporation, to distribute portable water treatment systems to Pakistan in the wake of the flood crisis. The system being deployed is innovative in that few are needed, yet thousands of people are helped. According to Randy Martin of Mercy Corps and Bjorn Euler of ITT, the systems have already provided clean water to 110,000 Pakistani flood victims and only five water treatment systems are in place.
"The portable, self-contained water-filtration devices take impure water from a variety of sources including rivers, lakes, and wells and remove bacteria and contaminates via sand, charcoal, etc. Water is then injected with chlorine and stored in 10,000 gallon pillow tanks. Each pillow tank is either unloaded in bulk via tanker truck or distributed via tap stands. Each pillow tank can connect to four to five tap stands," Martin and Euler tell Fast Company.
Mercy Corps has a solid track record of responding effectively under such crises, but their purpose of being in Pakistan and in partnering with ITT is also to systematically assess the country's short and long-term needs. ITT is providing the funding for the initial needs assessment.
The equipment was designed by ScanWater but purchased by ITT. They are "not specifically designed to respond to floods, but are serving NGOs well for this purpose on the ground in Pakistan. ITT initially deployed three systems to Mercy Corps and has also loaned two systems to other international relief organizations working in Pakistan. These systems are useful in any emergency where water-related disease is a threat. In January, ITT and Mercy Corps deployed these same systems to Haiti following the earthquake."