The Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Board of Trustees approved a $25,000 special contribution to Water for People (WFP), an international nonprofit development organization. The donation will support the organization’s efforts to respond to calls for assistance in the long-term rebuilding of water and sanitation infrastructures in areas of Southeast Asia and India devastated by the December 26, 2004 tsunami.
As widely reported, international experts are concerned that more people will suffer from disease outbreaks related to the lack of clean water and sanitation than from the initial destruction of the December 26 catastrophe.
"Members of the global community of water professionals such as WEF, are responding to these reports in large numbers", said WEF President Lynn Orphan. "The Federation supports Water for People’s efforts to help facilitate communications, volunteer efforts and in-kind cash donations for the victims as well as its commitment to aid in the long-term rebuilding of water infrastructures in the affected regions." WEF is also encouraging its membership to lend individual support to WFP by making similar gift contributions to the organization.
In addition to the contribution, a group of international water quality non-governmental organizations and professionals, including WEF and WFP, have been collaborating to share expertise and minimize duplication of efforts in response to the crisis. Individuals, businesses, utilities and organizations from the drinking water and sanitation community have come forward to offer volunteer assistance, donations of equipment, supplies and financial support.
"The rebuilding needs of those areas devastated by the tsunami are enormous and require the support of our entire community," added WEF Executive Director Bill Bertera. "The water sector working together and coordinating activities will have a positive outcome in this effort and will set a precedent for meeting future water-related and public health challenges."
Other collaborating organizations include: the American Water Works Association, Water Quality Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, National Association of Water Companies, Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies and the International Water Association.
To view current information about the crisis, volunteer opportunities or to donate to WFP’s long-term efforts, visit www.waterforpeople.org  or email WFP’s Tsunami Response coordinator at [email protected]