United Way Launches Clean Water Campaign For Haiti

UNION COUNTY – The United Way of Greater Union County and NJ for Haiti are launching a fundraising campaign to provide 800 million gallons of free, clean water to Haiti for the next 25 years through their Haiti Lives On initiative. The not-for-profit organizations will distribute four solar powered water purification systems to some of the most densely populated areas in the country, including Carrefour, the epicenter of the 7.0 earthquake that ravaged the small country.

Each water-purification system, the Solar Mobil MaxPure, has the capacity to produce 30,000 gallons of fresh water each day at a cost of less than one penny per gallon. The mobile self-powered system does not require a connection to an electric grid or any kind of fossil fuel. The unit also provides power to run lights, computers and other electronic equipment. The Solar Mobil MaxPure requires very little maintenance, can last up to 25 years, and purifies water from various sources including wells, lakes, and the ocean.

The fundraising campaign Haiti Lives On will begin during Haitian Heritage Month with an awards and concert benefit on Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m., at the Hamilton Stage, Rahway. The event will feature an art exhibit and auction by Maeva Fouche and music by the International Electric Transfusion Band. NJ for Haiti will honor local non-profits and individual who have been instrumental in helping Haiti and will conduct a special tribute to the late Congressman Donald M. Payne, former co-chair for NJ for Haiti. The cost of each Solar Mobil MaxPure water purification system is $150,000 and the goal is to raise $600,000 for four units.

“One of the most critical things that the people of Haiti need right now is consistent access to clean water,” states Stan Neron, executive director, NJ for Haiti. “Imagine having to spend your entire day trying to find clean water to drink, cook, and bathe. This is the reality that many Haitian people face everyday.”

The decision to launch the Haiti Lives On clean water campaign started after NJ for Haiti’s recent mission tour. As the group conducted their medical clinic they noticed that most of the patients were suffering from diseases related to contaminated water. Upon returning to the states they decided to make providing clean water systems a priority. After doing some research, they found the Solar Mobile MaxPure system, used by many in Darfur.

“Clean water is one of the most basic and significant of human needs,” exclaims James W. Horne, Jr., Board member, NJ for Haiti and President/CEO, United Way of Greater Union County. “This is critical.”

The Haiti Lives On movement and supporters hope to eradicate health problems due to the lack of clean water. By meeting this basic need, cholera and other sicknesses derived from poor water quality would be eliminated and subsequently the quality of life will significantly improve for thousands of Haitians.

For general information and tickets visit www.ucpac.org. Individuals interested in donating directly to the water purification project or Haiti relief can do so by visiting www.uwguc.org. To become a sponsor, contact Stan Neron, executive director NJ for Haiti at (908) 267-4048.

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