For many people in rural Australia, years of drought, and now months of bushfire, have made clean tank-water a thing of the past.
Drought and dust-storms leave roofs and downpipes coated with dust, which then makes its way into tank water. Bushfires contaminate water tanks and local waterways with ash, too. Many rural communities can’t drink their tap water without boiling it first.
To help with this situation, the Christian humanitarian organisation Voice of the Martyrs has allocated a batch of their high-performance water purifiers – normally sent to developing communities overseas – to the town of Cobargo in south-eastern NSW – as their way of helping households affected.
Voice of the Martyrs and Hope 103.2 are working together to get 20 of these water filters to families that need them most, in Cobargo and surrounding areas, some of the most hard hit by bushfire in January.
The purifiers, made by Lifestraw, come in two sizes – a gravity feed model that holds 18,000 litres, and a community model that holds over 113,000 litres – their purification cartridge removes virtually all pathogens found in drinking water. Each filter can last for three to five years.
Drought and Firestorm Taking a Toll
Margi O’Connor is a Cobargo resident whose home was saved – quite miraculously – in the firestorm that descended on New Year’s Eve. But many of her neighbours weren’t so lucky.
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Talking to Hope 103.2, she explained how difficult it is to get hold of clean water right now.
“We’ve been boiling water for a number of months with the drought,” she said. “The drought happened first, and our river’s dried out that we used to pump out of, so we’ve been boiling water because it hasn’t been safe for a couple of months at least. A lot of people are living on bottled water – which can’t last forever.”
“It’s going to be wonderful, because drinking water is very scarce at the moment.”
She said the donation of water filtering systems was going to be “invaluable”.
“They’re going to go to people that need them in town,” she said. “It’s going to be wonderful, because drinking water is very scarce at the moment.”
Living Water will also supply 500 litres of bottled water to Cobargo this month as part of the initiative.
Voice of the Martyrs is a Christian aid organisation that brings practical and spiritual support to persecuted believers in restricted nations of the world, and supports the families of those who have been martyred for their faith.
Visit vom.com.au for more information.