In April 2015, GlobalMedic deployed to Lubumbashi, the second largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Once in country, GlobalMedic immediately began to build household water purification units and train our local partners from the United Methodist Church in the North-Katanga Episcopal Area on their assembly and use. Over the next few weeks, our partners will be distributing 450 Rainfresh household water purification units with replacement filters, to 450 families. This distribution will provide over 3,150 beneficiaries with much needed access to clean drinking water for the next two years. Additionally, 180,000 P&G Purifier of Water Packets will be distributed to 500 families along with one 15L water container each. These sachets will purify 1.8 million litres of contaminated water for over 3,500 beneficiaries and provide an emergency source of clean drinking water for families experiencing outbreaks of water-bourne diseases in their communities.
The household water purification units, purifying sachets and water containers will be distributed in the Manono district of the DRC. The Second Congo War (1998-2003) had a devastating effect on Manono; it was reported as the second deadliest conflict worldwide since World War II. In the aftermath, the whole DRC was left in a very fragile state and many parts of the country have since experienced continued violence and political instability.
There are thousands of people in the Manono district who have been driven from their homes; uprooted by continual violent attacks from local militias (called Mai-Mai). These displaced populations live in camps that lack access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation or hygiene facilities. They have an increased risk of contracting water-bourne illnesses as well as communicable diseases. Communicable diseases, such as malaria and cholera, cause significant morbidity and mortality through the DRC, and almost half of the deaths occurring are children under the age of five. Health statuses are low in these areas and acute watery diarrheal diseases from contaminated water pose significant threat to the vulnerable members in a community.