1-7 May 2015 #756

Small is more useful

Safe drinking water is always the most important item needed by survivors living in shelters

The contraption is so simple and intuitive, you wonder why no one thought of it before. But Singaporean corporate executive, Hassan Ahmad, did.

After rushing to disaster zones after the Philippine typhoon last year or the cyclone in Burma, Ahmad found that safe drinking water was always the most important item needed by survivors living in shelters. He used to take plastic water bottles, then machines that needed a generator to filter water, but they were either unsustainable or unwieldy solutions Ahmad (pictured in Kathmandu on Thursday, left, with his water purifier) got his Singapore-based Corporate Citizen Foundation to work with a manufacturer to design a simple pedal-powered membrane filter system that can purify up to 1,500 litres of water per hour and remove germs up to 1 microns. Ahmad and his five-member Swift Emergency Evaluation Deployment (SEED) team arrived on Monday and has already deployed the system at the Annapurna Hotel and through volunteers is distributing water through five tankers to shelters in Kathmandu Valley.

“The system is so light and mobile that it can be sent anywhere as a water filtration solution,” Ahmad says, “it doesn’t need electricity, and the only thing it can’t do is remove chemical contamination.”

Corporate Citizen Foundation got 500kg of free cargo on a Silk Air flight from Singapore this week to also bring much-needed stretchers, body bags and other emergency items. Body bags were in high demand. and were nearly all gone since many of the unclaimed dead were lying in the open when the team arrived.

The Corporate Citizen Foundation was set up by Singapore-based companies after the Asian tsunami to respond to disasters in the region. Its strategic partners include Pacific Flights Services for rapid air mobility, Golden Season which makes the water filtration system, Thomson Medical for medicines, HSL Constructor for engineering and MediaCorp for communications.

Its philosophy is to travel light, buy and access as much as possible of the relief material needed locally and provide appropriate and catalytic relief.


Read also:

Giving to the living

Shaking things up, Editorial

Langtang is gone, Sahina Shrestha

Monumental loss, Stéphane Huët

Mapping the aftermath, Ayesha Shakya

Microcosm of a calamity, Cynthia Choo and Sonia Awale

Teacher's tragedy, Cynthia Choo

Coming out stronger from crisis, Anjana Rajbhandary

Believe it, or not, Tsering Dolker Gurung

A slow start, David Seddon

The earthquake from above, Kunda Dixit

In photos: Nepal Earthquake, Bikram Rai

Thanking the Living Goddess for life, Min Ratna Bajracharya

Preparing to be prepared, Kunda Dixit

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