Program may spread to towns throughout the nation
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After two floods from torrential rains overwhelmed Fiji earlier this year, The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) contributed FJ$50,000 (US$30,000) to ensure that 1,000 families in Lautoka, Nadi and surrounding towns would receive tap-fitted water-filtration systems to purify drinking water. This is the 21st grant given by TPRF in 11 nations to help provide basic necessities after flooding.
In a ceremony this month on Denarau Island, Fiji, TPRF founder Prem Rawat presented the grant to Empower Pacific officials—formerly Pacific Counselling & Social Services—which is overseeing the project.
"One thing that we as human beings can do," Rawat said at the presentation, "is try to alleviate the suffering that is caused by natural occurrences. This is a relatively small donation, but I really hope that it's going to help those people who are in need."
TPRF President Linda Pascotto expressed, "This donation will enable Empower Pacific to continue its help in the aftermath of the flood disaster, particularly in Nadi, where people are still struggling to get back and renew. I think this is also important for TPRF because we now have a really good partner in this area of the Pacific."
Program Manager Kim Tilbury said social workers and other staffers conducted home visits to assess needs in flooded areas. They identified access to clean drinking water as the issue of particular concern in the aftermath of the flooding. As a result of these findings, they are providing homes with tap-fitted water-filtration systems that will purify the drinking water, both now and in the years ahead.
"We are making these units available," Tilbury said, "to family homes assessed as high-need based on their proximity to flood areas, where there is high disease risk from contaminated water."
Other selection factors included financial need and the presence of children in the home. The filtration system, Tilbury said, is among efforts to address the overall needs of the families, which may receive other support services as well.
Also, she said, the program means that one or more families can have a stable, ongoing source of income in the form of a small business that would supply the water-filter replacement cartridges, which are currently not available in Fiji.
"These filters are replaceable very easily at a small cost," Tilbury said. "Once families have the initial unit, they are linked up with our small-business client to purchase a replacement filter annually. The unit itself does not have a shelf life."
Empower Pacific plans to follow up after the initial distribution to guarantee that the filters are installed correctly and replaced in a timely manner. Project organizers believe news about the filters' efficiency, cost and ease of replacement can help promote their use throughout the nation.
About The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF)
Founded in 2001, The Prem Rawat Foundation strives to address the fundamental human needs of food, water and peace so that people can live with dignity, peace and prosperity. For more information, visit: www.tprf.org.
SOURCE The Prem Rawat Foundation