Water Filtration Centers...
providing purified drinking water to poor families!
Brother Luu operates the newly installed Water Filtration System
for the Montagnard families in Dami, Binh Thuan (November, 2009).
Brother Luu stands in front of our Water Filtration Center in Dami, Binh Thuan.
Brother Luu pours the filtered water into the water bottles at our
Water Filtration Center in Dami, Binh Thuan.
Bishop Paul instructing the people to dig the well prior
to installing the water filtration machine in Ham Tan, Binh Thuan.
Fr. Tho operates the water filtration machine in Dong Ha, Binh Thuan.
Parts of the water filtration machine.
An orphan carries a 5 gallons bottle of purified water
to St. Joseph Orphanage in Binh Duong.
The bottles of purified drinking water are ready
for families to take home.
We have installed seven (7) water filtration machines in the Province of Binh Thuan, one (1) in Nghe An, and one (1) at Bung Church in Binh Duong for the orphans and poor families living nearby. These water filtration centers are providing purified drinking water to more than 40,000 people.
This year of 2009 our plan is to install one water filtration machine in Dami and one in Daguri in 2010, both serving the Montagnard community in southeast of Vietnam.
Each water filtration machine costs about $10,000 USD, and can provide purified drinking water to 7,000 people.
Background of geographical areas in need of purified drinking water
The City of Phan Thiet, together with other nearby villages such as Tan Nghia, Tan Xuan, and Tan Minh is located in the mountainous areas in the Province of Binh Thuan. It is surrounded on the East by the Nhon Mountain and on the West by the Be Mountain; on the North lies the Ong Mountain, and on the South it is near the ocean. There are more than 1,000,000 inhabitants with 153,305 Catholics.
The terrain here is very complex. Three quarters of the land is comprised of mountains/hills. Mountains and forests cover the northeast side of the Truong Son Mountain. Many mountains and hillsides are spread out in several other parts of the province. The people settle beneath these mountains and hills.
The weather here is dry and sunny, with little rain and plenty of droughts. There are only a few months of rain. There is no flat land, therefore making the conditions unfavorable for farmers. Consequently, the revenue from farming is very low, and the products and incomes remain unstable.
In addition, there have been incidents of severe viruses (SARS/Bird Flu) in the past years, which decrease the revenues of the farmers. They make about $2 a day. Only a few families who operate small businesses are doing better because of tourism. About one quarter of the population has a more stable income.
Having clean purified drinking water is a basic human necessity that is still difficult to attain in Vietnam. Pollution and contamination have become a health risk issue. The wells close to the mountains contain excessive lime and salt. The minerals in these wells are extremely contaminated and emit a very strong, unpleasant odor. The wells that are close to the ocean are filled with alum (vitriol); the degree of the alum and salt is very high. The water has an abundance of bacteria, because waste material is disposed of in the rivers and streams. Those who depend on this water for survival are at high risk for intestinal and other health issues. According to the Province’s health statistic, the rate of intestinal cancer (as well as other types of cancer) has increased rapidly throughout various regions in the province. Health authorities have alerted the citizens about this water health risk situation.
Necessity for Purified Drinking Water
In order to produce and provide clean purified drinking water to the people, we need water filtration/purified machines that are capable of converting the raw water from the wells into clean drinking water. Each machine can purify 20 m3 each day, serving up to 7,000 people and is used principally for drinking and cooking. Thus far, we have been able to install nine (9) water filtration machines, allowing more than 63,000 people in nine villages (including an orphanage in Binh Duong) access to clean, safe drinking water. Having purified drinking water has lessened diseases and birth defects among these villagers and guarantees for them a healthier life.
Upon witnessing such positive results from these water filtration machines, many churches (parishes) in the area desire to have this same ability to provide clean drinking water to the people in their vicinity. Even though the parishes do not have the financial means to purchase and install such machines, the people are willing to purchase the water produced at a minimal, affordable price. We only charge a small amount of money (16 cents USD for 5 gallons/20 liters of water) to reimburse the maintenance fee and to avoid the abuse of water if it is given free of charge. In very few cases where families are too destitute to purchase the water, the water is given to them free of charge.
Although the water purification machines are placed at the local churches and at some of our mission locations/convents, the water is available to all the people in the area regardless of their religion or race. It is aimed at helping impoverished families, the majority of whom are qualified in the areas where we minister.
Cost of Water Filtration/Purification Machine
Each water filtration machine and the accompanying equipment costs approximately $11,000 USD. The villagers contribute to the labor (digging of a well and assembling the machine) at about $1,000 USD per machine. This means each machine costs about $10,000 USD.
"Then the king will say to those on his right,
'Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation o the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me."