Local group help victims of typhoon with clean water - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local group help victims of typhoon with clean water

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

More than a week after a massive typhoon slammed into the Philippines, relief is finally starting to make its way to those in need.

Three-hundred-and-fifty thousand people are still in evacuation centers.  But little by little, life appears to be improving.  

Nearly 2 million people in the Philippines are without access to clean water since last week's historical typhoon.

But one non-profit group is hoping to change that, by traveling over seas to provide water filtration systems to purify water to drink...

We're told a variety of systems were taken, some that can help a village, others that can fit in your pocket.

It's a simple saying, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day.  Teach him to fish, he eats for a lifetime."

For the Water For the World non-profit group, they're teaching those in the Philippines how to purify their water so they can survive during a time of need.

"They have more freshwater than they know what to do with.  It's just contaminated.  It just needs to be cleaned."

Filled with bacteria and viruses that can be deadly.

Rick Bartell, the Executive Director for Water For the World says a person can only go on average, a week without water. But with the tropical temperatures.

"Experts think it would only be 4 to 5 days before death would start to set in."

However without electricity and solar energy, they're limited to what they can take.

"We try to use filtration capabilities that don't require any power. There's no moving parts."

And those all come with a hefty price tag. 

"We get contributions and donations from people who want to sponsor a village. One filter can handle approximately 25 people per day and continually filter clean water.  They filter out 99 percent of bacteria, and some can even filter out viruses."

Their goal? To help between 40 and 50 thousand people, but they'd love to do even more.

"The more we can take with us, the more we can help over there."

Bartell says Delta Airlines is even doing their part.  Giving them unlimited space for their supplies on the plane.

"With any non-profit, funds are a little short.  So it's not how many can we take it's how many are we going to take."

Bartell says they currently have 10 thousand units of purifiers.  Enough to provide water for nearly 40-50 thousand people.  The group left Thursday morning, and plan to return in the coming weeks.

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