AQUASURE A solution for the emergency treatment of dirty turbid wate r using a coagulating and disinfecting tablet An example on an intervention in Mexico in Oct. 2007 1 Intervention context: • Following flooding in the Tabasco (Mexico) area, a request for assistance issued by the French Embassy in Mexico is sent to the Foreign Minister in Paris. The resources necessary for water treatment must be deployed. The French Humanitarian Firemen's association (PHF) based in St Etienne France is contacted. The captain Giron, president of the association proposes that concept AQUASURE should be sent to the disaster area, with an operational team made up of 2 people to ensure the training and the supervision of the local teams. When we arrived we found the following situation: • 200 000 homes flooded, a million disaster victims, 300 people missing, 50 declared dead. Many zones inaccessible by the existing roads • Crisis cells in place (health water management, department of external affaires, army etc....) 2 Objectives of the mission • To provide drinking water for the disaster victims from existing non-drinkable water. • To train local personnel (health workers, firemen, civil protection, others) for the installation of the concept. • To assist the work of the field teams with an effective concept which is simple and fast to transport and to install. Actions implemented: The actions are coordinated jointly by the French Embassy, the CONAGUA (national water commission) and Secretaria de Salud (the ministry for health). Presentation of the concept to the health personnel and the CONAGUA in the zone of Villahermosa. After bacteriological analyses on water from the river Grijalva (water strongly contaminated during the floods), the health service’s water laboratory assures us that the water treated by process AQUASURE is in conformity with the water quality standards. • Departure with the health service personnel to the canton of NACAJUCA located at 30 km to the north-east of Villahermosa, where there were 95 000 disaster victims. With the consent of the medical and administrative authorities, we moved on to the rural zone of Sandial the cruz, where 9000 people were in a total destitution (village under 50cm of water, no more homes, loss of the cattle, very precarious living conditions under hand-made shelters). • Field installation of the concept: Recovery of overflow water by pumping and treatment with concept X in rigid tanks of 200, 1000 and 2500 litres. • Installation of Spanish language courses, to ensure correct use of the concept, for the Ministry of Health personnel at national, regional and local levels, for the security civil, for the CONAGUA personnel, the Mexico City firemen present in the zone; for the village chiefs. Altogether, more than 50 people trained. A simple documentation (instructions, precautions of use) in Spanish was distributed to the trained people. Conclusion After several interventions (Congo, Indonesia, Peru) following various crises. We had confirmation that the concept is well adapted to emergencies, easy logistic, implementation rapid in all situations even when the access is difficult, a bucket of 5 kg makes it possible to treat 30 m3 of water. Installation made easier for the local people, no product control necessary for transport by sea, land or air) The concept makes it possible to ease and not to burden the work of the field workers. In 2 hours the ground teams are trained for the use and the implementation of the concept, and are able to ensure the follow- up of the quality of water, without heavy and expensive logistics. This solution is optimal for the first 10 days emergency thus allowing the installation of more important resources once the means of access restored. A pallet of 400 kg of these tablets makes it possible to treat 2 million litres of water.
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