WASHINGTON – Water. Americans take it for granted. Without it, human beings can’t survive very long.
Right now, pure drinking water remains one of the most critical needs for the people of Haiti in the aftermath of the country’s devastating 7.0 earthquake that has flattened buildings, killed tens of thousands and disrupted what was a weak infrastructure in the impoverished nation before the quake.
People are quite literally dying of dehydration and sickening themselves by drinking from impure water sources.
This is the critical need being addressed by WND’s choice of charities targeting Haitian relief – the Jeremiah Denton Foundation.
Denton is the retired rear admiral and former U.S. senator who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and the author of the classic book, recently republished by WND Books, “When Hell Was in Session.”
“Hell is back in session in Haiti, right now,” said Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND. “It seemed appropriate, even serendipitous, for us to work with our friend and colleague Jeremiah Denton, who knows so much about suffering, to bring relief to the people of Haiti.”
The foundation has secured 50 water purification units, five mobile medical units and pallets of critical medical supplies, including intravenous solutions, bandages and gauze for transport to the stricken island as soon as permission can be obtained to access a landing strip, a sometimes lengthy and expensive process. It is also working on delivering units to provide temporary shelter, pre-packaged nutritional meal and several hundred more water purification units.
Each water purification unit can serve thousands of people a day.
“Goal is to keep an ongoing flow of critical supplies into Haiti,” says Audra Russell of the foundation. “We have a network of partners, both on the ground and in U.S. dedicated to this common goal. We are arranging for use of three civilian aircraft, capable of landing in difficult, hard to reach places. To coordinate the delivery of the critical items into these areas requires skill, dedication, and commitment. At the Denton Foundation, we are committed to help in our greatest capacity.”
Earthquake damage in Haiti
The heart of the Denton Foundation’s work is summarized by Sen. Denton himself: “It is in our hearts to help as a nation. The people of Haiti have faced challenges for years, and now they are struck with a devastation like no other. ‘Love Your Neighbor as you Love Yourself’ is the number one mandate Jesus gave to us years ago. At this time of suffering, let us put His mandate into action and help our neighbors in Haiti at this time of tragedy today.”
Despite the fact that more than 3,000 U.S. Marines and members of the 82nd Airborne are on the ground in Haiti to provide security and humanitarian assistance, much work remains to be done. Though the outpouring of aid has come from all over the world, it is still not enough. There are still more than 2 million people with nowhere to go. The hospitals are gone for the most part, except on the North coast. Some of the earthquake victims are heading to the mountains.
The foundation has access to several small aircraft that can operate within Haiti. They carry medical teams, missionaries and relief supplies to difficult to reach areas. They can land on small airstrips. A fuel fund account has been established to help operate the planes.
Haiti earthquake damage in photo from Samaritan’s Purse
“We can fill these planes with already donated medical supplies, water purification units, and more that will serve thousands,” explains Admiral Denton.
With 24 years in the business of providing humanitarian relief in emergencies, the foundation is focused on getting the right supplies to the right place at the right time.