Philippines: Swedish Red Cross donates water sanitation unit to PNRC

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The Swedish Red Cross (SRC) has donated four Water and Sanitation (WatSan) Emergency Response Unit (ERU) trucks to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) for emergency and disaster response throughout the country. PNRC Chairman Sen. Richard J. Gordon said the trucks are equipped with water pumps, hoses, filtration devices, and pipes. "The equipment will provide distilled water to disaster-stricken areas which ran out of fresh drinking water," he said.

According to PNRC Secretary General Corazon Alma De Leon, the estimated value of the equipment is US$300,000 or roughly PhP120 million. De Leon received the donation from SRC-ERU team leader Gunder Edtrom during a recent memorandum of agreement (MOA) signing ceremony at the PNRC Headquarters in Manila which was also witnessed by PNRC deputy secretary Gwendolyn Pang.

Prior to the handover and MOA signing, SRC responded to a request by the International Federation Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the PNRC to deploy a WatSan ERU to Iloilo City last July 2008 after Typhoon Frank devastated the place.

The SRC-ERU team arrived in Iloilo City last July 8, 2008 to produce safe drinking water for the towns of Pavia, Leganes as well as Iloilo City. The visiting Red Crossers also provided and erected suitable tanks in areas with the most vulnerable people.

The local government and PNRC have distributed the drinking water through tankers and also provided bladder tanks. A three-day training on handling the EERU equipment was also held wherein 23 persons from PNRC participated, Secretary General de Leon said.

During the training, the team erected two T70 tanks and two T95 tanks to treat and store raw water.