WaterStep submitted a request to the foundation in the amount of $2,500 to support the disaster relief response, which was approved under an Emergency Request clause in the Foundation’s disbursement procedure.
“Hurricane Dorian left massive destruction in its wake when it made landfall in the Bahamas,” said Spencer Bruce, President and CEO of Louisville Water and President of the Louisville Water Foundation. “We are pleased to be able to quickly support relief efforts that align with the Foundation’s mission of assisting communities in need of water.”
The Foundation has partnered with WaterStep on a range of disaster relief and water assistance efforts for several years and even played a key role in the initial funding of the development of the BleachMaker, the WaterStep sanitation technology being used in the Bahamas. The BleachMaker, simply and inexpensively, produces medical strength disinfectant used to sanitize clinics, kitchens, and shelters.
WaterStep sent BleachMakers, Disaster Relief Kits, and M-100 Chlorine Generators (which safely produce chlorine gas that is injected into water to kill pathogens) with medical groups out of Puerto Rico to aid in the search and rescue process in the Bahamas.
WaterStep used online technology (Skype) to train members of disaster relief organizations how to set up and use the equipment. Then a WaterStep team traveled to the affected area once infrastructure began to be restored.
“WaterStep has worked throughout the Caribbean in disaster situations, but this is the first time we’ve had the privilege to work with the people of the Bahamas and the organizations impacting them,” said Mark Hogg, Founder and CEO of WaterStep.
The Louisville Water Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to WaterStep in 2016 to help bring safe drinking water to people in Ecuador affected by a major earthquake. The next year, the Foundation awarded $25,000 to support development of the BleachMaker and another $25,000 to support the expansion, updating and remodeling of the organization’s manufacturing and assembly area, which enabled WaterStep to expand its relief efforts.
The Foundation also supports the American Red Cross, which helped prepare evacuation centers in the southeastern U.S. for people seeking shelter from Hurricane Dorian. In 2017, the foundation gave the Red Cross a $25,000 grant to help fund an emergency response vehicle (ERV).
ERVs are critical in emergency response efforts, including delivering clean, safe water to communities in need. The foundation again recognized the importance of these specialized vehicles with another $17,500 ERV grant last year.