Resolve, Mercy Corps Provide Safe Drinking Water for Grand Bahama

Image courtesy Mission Resolve

By The Maritime Executive 09-25-2019 03:21:48

Mercy Corps and Resolve Marine's Mission Resolve Foundation reported Tuesday that they have joined forces to bring clean drinking water to Grand Bahama Island through the installation of a water treatment plant.

During Hurricane Dorian, the aquifer that feeds the island's drinking water wells became contaminated with salt water from storm surge and extensive flooding. The Grand Bahama Port Authority has advised residents not to use tap water to drink, wash dishes, brush teeth or prepare food until restoration efforts to flush the aquifer of salt water are complete.

The system installed by Mercy Corps and Mission Resolve Foundation consists of two reverse osmosis water purifiers which are currently generating around 7,500 gallons of potable water each day. After desalination and remineralization, the water is chlorinated before distribution to the public, and it meets all applicable health standards. Mercy Corps has begun delivering safe drinking water from the system to several health facilities and to individuals through a public tap stand at the Freeport YMCA.

“Providing communities with a reliable source of clean drinking water means they don’t need to purchase bottled water,” says Mugur Dumitrache, senior water and sanitation advisor for Mercy Corps. “It’s not just that we want to reduce plastic waste - which is significant when an entire island is reliant on bottled water - but bringing in and trucking bottled water takes up urgently-needed space on planes, ships and on the roads at a time when so many other supplies are needed.”

“We are honored to be working with Mercy Corps on this effort, supplying drinking water to thousands of people in the Bahamas who were impacted by Hurricane Dorian’s destruction. Clean, safe water is one of the most important human needs, especially after a storm,” said Joe Farrell, Jr., the founder and CEO of Resolve Marine Group and the co-founder of Mission Resolve Foundation.

Recovery efforts continue for the northern Bahamas, which were hit hard by Hurricane Dorian. The storm made landfall in the Abaco Islands on September 1 as a Category 5 hurricane, bringing devastation to the town of Marsh Harbour and nearby communities. It moved slowly westwards to Grand Bahama Island, where it lingered just offshore for days, causing extensive wind damage and flooding. An estimated 1,300 people remain missing, and the true death toll is not yet known. Thousands have evacuated to Nassau and other nearby communities, where many remain living in shelters or in doubled-up housing provided by good samaritans.