Recovery efforts continue across countries in Central America following Hurricane Eta and Hurricane Iota's devastating impact in early November 2020. Cayman's two water utilities, Water Authority-Cayman and Cayman Water Company, worked together with the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise (Rotary Sunrise) to lead a helping hand to our regional neighbour.
Following the impact of both storms, which impacted Nicaragua and Honduras as a Category 4 (Eta) and Category 5 (Iota) within two weeks, Rotary Sunrise reached out to the Rotary Club of La Ceiba, an organisation it has a long term relationship with, to determine the best way to help the people of Honduras. The provision of potable water was identified as a significant challenge.
Water Authority and Cayman Water Company donated $2,500 each to purchase Aqua© Iodine Water Purification Tablets. These tablets disinfect water of questionable microbiological quality and treat viruses, bacteria, and cysts. The tablets were sourced from a supplier used by both water companies.
A challenge arose when the instruction labels were supplied in English and not in Spanish, which would mean recipients would not be able to use the tablets, as they wouldn't be able to read the instructions properly. Water Authority staff stepped in to translate and design a new Spanish language label, and the supplier arranged for the labels to be printed. When the tablets arrived in Cayman, Rotarians added the new labels to the tablet packaging.
In February, Rotary Sunrise shipped the purification tablets to the Rotary Club of La Ceiba where it was distributed to local communities. A total of 1,728 bottles, with 50 purification tablets each, were donated; this is enough to treat 11,400 gallons of water.
“The Water Authority is pleased to support the Rotary Sunrise Club with this initiative. Cayman knows all too well the devastation a major storm causes, which is why it was no question that we would step in to help support this effort,” explains Dr Gelia Frederick van-Genderen, Director of the Water Authority. It’s a sentiment shared by Cayman Water Company. “Access to safe drinking water is essential, and we are happy to help the people of Honduras gain access to clean water as they recover from the storm,” comments Manuel Thomaz, General Manager of Cayman Water Company.
“We are so grateful to both Cayman Water Company and Water Authority for not only their donation but for also lending their expertise in ensuring the people of Honduras were able to gain access to safe drinking water,” comments Stacy Parke, President of Rotary Sunrise.