You would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about and felt for the thousands of unfortunate victims of Irma and Maria in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. These devastating hurricanes occurred just days after Rotary Switzerland launched a new charity to support the Water Survival Box charity in the UK, and Swiss Water Survival Box was put immediately to the test given these tragic events.
They immediately set to action and raised sufficient funds to send 220 boxes to hurricane victims in the Caribbean and a further 500 boxes are due to be flown to St Croix and distributed to Tortola, St Martins, St Barth, Turks & Caicos and Anguilla.
Meanwhile, back in Switzerland, Vaughan James, an acclaimed international photographer based in Zurich has been working on a project called Water the Essential, with the primary goal to raise awareness of water issues around the world.
He recently teamed up with the Swiss Water Survival Box and explained the concept of the Water Survival Box to me, which is best described as an immediate toolbox. The Water Survival Box is a Rapid Response solution to people suffering from the aftermath of a disaster.
Each box costs only150 pounds and provides immediate relief for a family of five. It primarily provides clean drinking water through the use of a water filter and basic survival for people suffering the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster. Nothing could be more essential than clean drinking water when all or some of the infrastructures are destroyed through a natural event.
As he points out most people would deem 48 hours without their cellphone a tragedy, but 48 hours without water can be life threatening. It is very common after a natural disaster that water born diseases such as cholera spread, and the water filter in the survival box can provide clean drinking water for a family of five for up to five years. A truly life-changing tool from all perspectives.
Vaughan’s exhibition, Water The Essential, features some stunning photography from around the world. His approach to photography is from a painting prospective and his work focuses on the abundant water in Switzerland.
The intention of the exhibition is to raise awareness of the importance of water and to help the Water Survival Box raise money.
Through the leadership of Hugo Pike, The Water Survival box has already delivered over 16000 boxes to people in a number of countries. People have already been helped following the Boxing Day Tsunami in the Indian Ocean and the Haiti Earthquake. The Water Survival box is already working with key aid partners such as Oxfam, Save the Children, UNICEF the Red Cross and World Vision. Up until now the key Driver of this project has been the voluntary work carried out by The Rotary Districts and Clubs.
The box can be sent via airfreight and through the various organisations to the disaster zones immediately. This is one of the most immediate and cost effective ways to help people in a disaster zone and alleviate their suffering.
Following the recent success of Vaughan’s show at Shapero Modern he has teamed up with the Hauser to organise an exhibition with the Water Survival Box and Rotary for the coming winter season.
As Vaughan points out ‘no one is immune to natural disasters’ – please check out the Water Survival Box website if you want to find out more.