Historic Country-Wide Clean Water Achieved for 60,000 Residents of the Marshall Islands
Collaborating partners include Kora in Okrane (KIO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Marshall Islands Ministry of Health, and Sawyer Products.
Partners from both the public and private sectors, announced today it has completed its goal of bringing clean drinking water, border-to-border, to nearly 60,000 residents of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Sawyer water filters, developed using advanced kidney dialysis filtration technology, were implemented as a low-cost solution across the country and brought to some of the most remote islands in the Pacific Ocean. The project was championed by the women’s lead nonprofit organization, Kora in Okrane (KIO), based locally in the Marshalls, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Marshall Islands Ministry of Health.
"The Marshall’s initiative is an example of how nonprofits, government, and the private sector can join forces to bring clean water to an entire country in need,” said Darrel Larson, Sawyer’s international director. “The Pacific Islands have the world’s worst water per capita, and it continues to worsen. This collaboration is proof that we can solve other water access issues, whether in the South Pacific or around the world.”
The Marshall Islands, a chain of atolls stretching along the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and Australia, has been painted as ground-zero for climate change and, with only about 6,000 visitors a year. While rising sea levels might be the Marshallese’s demise, climatologists predict the islands will cease to exist in approximately 80 years. Safe, drinkable water is the key to ensuring their culture lives on.
“As a volunteer organization, we have worked very hard, along with our partners, to bring clean water to some of the most isolated communities in the world. It’s hard to put into words what access to this necessity of life means to us and the people, especially women, and children of the Marshall Islands,” said Angeline Heine-Reimers, President of Kora in Okrane (KIO). “As a small low-lying country, we continue to wrestle with a worsening climate crisis. We must take the necessary steps to ensure our people have the tools to help them navigate these challenges. And it starts with access to clean water.”
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