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Pakistan Flood: Filtration System Provides Emergency Water Supply

xTahira, left, a CRS staff member based in the CRS/Quetta office, compares water samples before and after undergoing treatment with Nerox filters. Tahira has been temporarily deployed to help the flood-affected families safeguard their health. Photo by Gul Wali Khan, CRS/Pakistan.


Michelle Neukirchen, CRS Pakistan water and sanitation advisor, writes from the emergency response in Balochistan, Pakistan, where CRS has been carrying out relief efforts since Cyclone Yemyin hit in late June.

Today we provided emergency relief kits to 496 families in the villages of Gaibun and Balochabad. This was our first distribution to include Nerox filters, a water treatment system specifically designed for household use.

Last week, hygiene staff from our local partner, along with government health workers – all women specially recruited to promote health and hygiene in their communities – attended a training session to learn how to use, and teach others to use, the filters. The training was provided by the World Health Organization and local physicians.

Today, we put that learning into action.

Michelle Neukirchen

Let me just say that the families of Gaibun were overwhelmed by the effectiveness of the filters. More importantly, they now have a way to continuously clean their drinking water for the coming three months, until CRS and other agencies are able to restore their original water supply systems. The treatment system is so effective because families can clearly see water being cleaned. It is also a closed system that provides a constant water treatment dosage. This avoids risk of overdose that can be common in other treatment methods.

The water treatment filters and hygiene sessions come at a critical time in the emergency response. Families are displaced and taking water from any available source, including open wells and traditional irrigation systems. Cases of cholera and watery diarrhea continue to appear and treatment of water is vital to the affected population’s health. For the past three weeks, teams have been conducting household hygiene sessions to emphasize the use of oral rehydration salts, water purification tablets, cholera prevention and improved hygiene practices.

Both men and women participated in today’s session and had the chance to set up their own filters. As the day went on, families continued to approach us, requesting assistance on how to set up their filters.

Today provided just a glimpse of the hard work and devotion that is going into this emergency response. The team continues to provide sessions and plans to distribute 2,700 filters in total, along with complementary hygiene sessions. CRS is also providing emergency water supply, water treatment, latrines and bathing spaces to help meet the water and sanitation needs in this emergency.x

A before and after shot of water treated by the filtration system. Photo by Gul Wali Khan/CRS Pakistan.

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