Bahamas Habitat is continuing its efforts in Haiti, as volunteer pilots transport water filtration systems that are being installed and implemented along with partner organization SIFAT (Servants in Faith and Technology) to provide access to clean drinking water to fight the cholera epidemic. The non-profit organization is also looking for more volunteer pilots to help in the effort.
The epidemic has reached over 1,700 deaths, according to the United Nations. Cholera, a disease associated with over-crowded places with poor sanitation and lack of clean water, results in a massive loss in bodily fluid, causing dehydration and death. Even before the outbreak there was a tremendous need for water purification systems, according to officials. Just a week before the Oct. 21 outbreak, Bahamas Habitat transported representatives of SIFAT to install water purification systems for more than 10,000 people in just four days. The Bahamas Habitat-SIFAT partnership has since returned and provided the opportunity of clean water to more than 24,500 people.
These water purification systems work by chlorination and weigh only 26 lbs. “We have found a typical twin engine aircraft (like a Beech Baron), with a pilot and two SIFAT personnel, can transport six systems, in addition to numerous water filters for single-family dwellings that weigh less than a pound,” states Cameron King, Bahamas Habitat Disaster Relief and Pilot Coordinator.
“These water purification systems are like magic. We can help thousands of people with each flight mission so we feel these efforts are the best use of our limited resources,” added John Armstrong, Chairman and President of Bahamas Habitat. “These missions are not possible without volunteer pilots to support the missions and donations from our supporters. In connection with these efforts we have launched a fundraising campaign and are encouraging all who are involved in the aviation industry to please make a donation to allow the missions to continue.”
Bahamas Habitat will continue to sponsor the water purification delivery throughout 2011 and is seeking volunteer pilots for these missions. In addition, the organization is exploring the utilization of Haiti-based volunteer pilots. This opportunity became available when pilots Jon Snyder and Reid Larson volunteered to be Bahamas Habitat’s first Haiti-based pilots. Their exploratory mission began in Haiti on Nov. 19 in Snyder’s Piper Arrow. Their mission has made in-country transportation available to Bahamas Habitat partner organizations in Haiti. During their time, they will also join Remote Area Medical (RAM) in their mission to build a runway in Medor, a rural mountain village disconnected from outside resources.
If you would like volunteer to fly missions to Haiti or to base in Haiti for a month or longer please contact Cameron King, the Bahamas Habitat Disaster Relief and Pilot Coordinator, at Cameron@bahamashabitat.org.
Bahamas Habitat is a US-based Christian nonprofit organization supporting housing and disaster relief work in the Bahamas and Caribbean that also introduces pilots to mission flying opportunities. The organizations’ volunteers flew over 400 missions to Haiti following the devastating earthquake there. Bahamas Habitat was recognized in 2010 by the National Aeronautic Association with the Public Benefit Flying Outstanding Achievement Award, Teamwork Award and Distinguished Volunteer Pilot Award. For more information: BahamasHabitat.org or SIFAT.org