Jan 18, 2010

AWWA Encourages Haiti Assistance

Organization releases statement with advice on how to help with water-related issues

"The American Water Works Assn. (AWWA) joins the global community in mourning the terrible loss of life in Haiti from Tuesday’s devastating earthquake," said AWWA Interim Executive Director Paula MacIlwaine. "The many calls and e-mails that have poured into our offices the past two days testify to the goodness and compassion that define our members."

"Following a disaster if this scale, the rescue and recovery efforts will continue for several weeks. AWWA encourages its members to direct immediate offers of assistance to disaster relief agencies on the ground in Haiti. Monetary donations are most helpful, because the chaos that follows natural disasters makes material donations difficult to manage.

"Water for People, AWWA’s charity of choice, recommends Catholic Relief Services and Mercy Corps as effective agencies to receive Haiti disaster relief donations.

"As a water community, we are all keenly aware of the water-related crises the earthquake will introduce. Access to safe drinking water is frequently among the first threats to survivors in impacted areas. The threat of waterborne disease may persist as the emergency response concludes and the reconstruction effort begins. AWWA has received many calls and emails from members offering expertise to help Haitians address water-related issues.

"AWWA is in close communication with federal agencies that are coordinating relief activities in Haiti. As the recovery situation stabilizes and international assistance efforts are organized, we will keep you informed through ‘Streamlines’ and other communications."

AWWA is a resource for knowledge, information and advocacy aiming to improve the quality and supply of water.