Helping Puerto Rican families meet a basic need after the storm: clean water
Oxfam and two local partners are distributing long-lasting water filters in communities where Hurricane Maria damaged water supplies.
In the weeks after the storm, the Environmental Protection Agency was advising people to boil their water before drinking it.
The Big Burkeys can hold 2.25 gallons of water at a time and can clean 6,000 gallons before the pair of filters inside needs to be changed.
That long filter life may be a relief to people like Camacho Colón, who recently received one of the Big Burkeys: She had always relied on spring water—until the storm hit and her husband fell sick and died after repairing pipes from the spring.
In the end, doctors declared Camacho Colón’s husband brain dead.
“I never thought I would go through something like this.” All her life, Camacho Colón has drunk the local spring water.
“I would tell my grandchildren’s parents: don’t let them touch anything.” Now, with Oxfam’s water filter, capable of removing contaminants eight times smaller than the one that causes Leptospirosis, she will no longer need to rely on bottled water.
‘The floor went down the mountainside’ For Ada H. Santiago, who lost almost her entire home in the storm, the filter distribution in her community took place just as she was running low on the bottled water provided by the municipality and the military.
So has Hernandez’s father, who preferred bottled water even before the storm.
“He’ll trust the water more.” Your support makes our response in Puerto Rico and in more than 90 countries around the world possible.