AWWA Mourns Haiti Disaster, Promises More Information

"The American Water Works Association (AWWA) joins the global community in mourning the terrible loss of life in Haiti from Tuesday's devastating earthquake. The many calls and e-mails that have poured into our offices the past two days testify to the goodness and compassion that define our members," said Paula MacIlwaine, AWWA interim executive director.

"Following a disaster of this scale, the rescue and recovery efforts will continue for several weeks. AWWA encourages its members to direct immediate offers of assistance to disaster relief agencies on the ground in Haiti. Monetary donations are most helpful, because the chaos that follows natural disasters makes material donations difficult to manage.

"Water for People, AWWA's charity of choice, recommends Catholic Relief Services and Mercy Corps as effective agencies to receive Haiti disaster relief donations," she added.

"As a water community, we are all keenly aware of the water-related crises the earthquake will introduce. Access to safe drinking water is frequently among the first threats to survivors in impacted areas. The threat of waterborne disease may persist as the emergency response concludes and the reconstruction effort begins. AWWA has received many calls and e-mails from members offering expertise to help Haitians address water-related issues.

"AWWA is in close communication with federal agencies that are coordinating relief activities in Haiti," MacIlwaine said, adding that the association will keep interested parties informed.

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