“For our team, the race against the clock in Haiti has moved from mere survival to preventing deadly diseases associated with contaminated water and sewage,” said chemical engineer and Water Missions International co-founder George Greene III.But how did George and Molly Greene, owners of a successful environmental engineering company in Charleston, S.C., end up in the middle of disaster zones in 40 countries supplying safe water to millions of desperate people?
Moved by the plight of Central Americans in Hurricane Mitch (1998), the Greenes quickly developed a unique—now patented—portable water treatment unit to meet victims’ emergency and long-term clean water needs. With a passion to continue helping the world’s 1 billion people who lack access to safe water, this couple morphed their successful engineering company into leading nonprofit engineering relief and development organization Water Missions International in 2001.Water Missions International works with other Christian relief organizations, including Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Blessing, to provide immediate and long-term access to clean water in marginalized communities and disaster areas in 40 countries. The organization began working in Haiti in 2004, where, prior to the quake, some 97 percent of Haitians lacked access to safe water (WHO/UNICEF, 2006). Since the earthquake, the organization has tripled its work in the country, with supplies in place to install 64 water treatment systems-enough to provide the daily water needs of more than 300,000 Haitians—the equivalent of delivering 2.8 million bottles of water every day for the next two decades.
“As engineers compelled by our faith to help suffering people, Water Missions International uses its God-given expertise to provide strategic, cost-effective, green and self-sustaining water solutions. Our water systems mean the difference between providing clean water for hours versus clean water for decades,” said George Greene III, currently on his way back down to Haiti.
“Sustainable clean water and sanitation are not only things we can provide in the moments following a disaster, but—if done right—it’s something we can leave behind in crisis areas like Haiti…long after our staff and volunteers are gone,” said Molly Greene. “I can’t think of a more tangible way for a bunch of engineers to put our faith and God-given skills into action than that.”
Water Missions International is a leading nonprofit engineering relief and development organization providing quick-response, cost-effective, sustainable clean water solutions to people in crisis areas. Launched by engineering experts during Hurricane Mitch, Water Missions International has, since 2001, responded to the world’s largest natural disasters including the South Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the China earthquake, Myanmar cyclone and Haiti earthquake. With at least a 20-year operating span, Water Missions International’s patented sustainable clean water and sanitation systems continue to provide those hard-hit communities with life, health and the basis for viable economies. Currently providing sustainable clean water to people in 40 countries, Charleston, S.C.-based Water Missions International has received top ratings by Charity Navigator for four years in a row.