Dec 23, 2011

TPRF, AmeriCares to Aid Water Purification in Horn of Africa

Contributions aim to assist estimated 20,000 in Ethiopia suffering from drought

The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) announced it is contributing $10,000 to provide safe, clean drinking water for three months to an estimated 20,000 people who have had to rely on dirty water from local ponds amid severe drought and famine in the Borena zone of Oromia, Ethiopia.

Nonprofit organization AmeriCares is overseeing the effort, which will reduce the incidence of waterborne illnesses for members of about 2,000 households in local communities suffering from starvation.

"The drought in the Horn of Africa has wrought untold suffering. TPRF is honored to be able to help by partnering with AmeriCares to address the issue of disease arising from contaminated water," said Linda Pascotto, TPRF president.

The Horn of Africa region is facing widespread food shortages in what has been described as the worst drought in the region in more than half a century. An estimated 13 million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The United Nations is calling the situation "catastrophic."

"We are greatly appreciative of the support," said Ella R. Gudwin, vice president of emergency response for AmeriCares. "Indeed, the Horn of Africa famine has not attracted the kind of donor engagement that such a catastrophic event might otherwise engender. I believe people see anything related to Somalia as a lost cause, and many innocent people both in Somalia and the surrounding drought-affected countries continue to suffer. For this reason, we are especially thankful for this grant from TPRF and the sense of hope that it inspires in desperate circumstances."

Gudwin said sachets of PuR, a powder solution that removes many pollutants, viruses and bacteria, including cholera, from contaminated water, will be issued to aid with water purification. Families receiving the sachets are also given buckets and clean cloth needed for the process.