Earthquake Relief Project

earthquake relief project

On 16 April 2016 a 7,8 magnitude earthquake destroyed  about 7000 buildings in the Central Coast of Ecuador. Stephen Sherwood contacted Claudia Belletini who lives in Bahía de Caraquez, about 40 km from the epicenter, and asked her about the major needs of the families affected by the earthquake. Claudia was helping sister Julia, a nun living in the village San Agustin, which was strongly damaged by the earthquake. About 300 families were in great need of drinking water.

Groundswell International, EkoRural and Stichting Fluid started a crowdfunding campaign for financing low cost  water filters and giving training for preventing water borne  diseases. At the same time Sister Julia and local volunteers started distributing donations arriving in San Agustín. 

First trainings and donations took place some weeks  after the earthquake, below a summary:

  • April 30th: 32 volunteers are trained by Marie Tesarova  in water borne disease prevention and the use and  maintenance of a home water treatment system that  filters water with a special ceramic, colloidal silver and  active carbon. The replacement filter gives up to 7000  liters of purified water before replacement. 
  • May 10th: Training to head of households in San Agustin.  Volunteers from Paz y Esperanza Foundation were  present and made a donation of 70 water treatment  systems to the families of San Agustín. 
  • May 30th: 84 water purifiers purchased with funding  from EkoRural. 43 water purifiers are added with  donations received by Fluid and individuals.
  • June 26th, 45 families received training on water borne  disease prevention.
  • June 29th, about 22 young volunteers received training  on hygiene promotion.  
  • July 6th, about 48 heads of households received training  on water borne disease prevention.

In total 300 heads of households received a home water treatment system after training on its use and  maintenance. 188 families from San Agustín came to buy the water treatment systems for the subsidized price of 3USD and 12 families got them for 15USD. Funds collected from families (744USD) were donated to a savings and credit  union that started 5 years ago in San Agustín. The fund  supports health related emergencies with microcredits.