The problem - Contaminated Drinking Water
Water is frequently contaminated and unfit to drink in a disaster area. A lack of sanitation creates an ideal breeding-ground for water-borne disease. Cholera and typhoid are the most virulent of these but they are not the whole story. Often the problem can be a simple infection causing diarrhoea and leading to dehydration, particularly in the very young. Water-Aid, a charity committed to the provision of long-term water supplies, estimates that 25,000 children die every day from the effects of drinking polluted water.
Rotary solution - Aquabox
A basic Aquabox contains a filter cartridge and a matching supply of water-treatment tablets. It enables 1100 litres (5,000 cups) of contaminated water to be purified for drinking, enough for a family of four people, drinking 10 cups per day, for about four months. The box also provides items useful in a disaster area. An Aquabox is shipped with a selection of warm clothing, useful hardware and hygiene items. The actual contents depend on the individual or organisation that has donated and filled the box but may include warm clothing, kitchen utensils, toiletries, small hand tools and other general hardware. There is a second model of Aquabox called Aquabox 30. This box is filled solely with 30 filter cartridges, enough to provide 33,000 litre of safe drinking water. (www.aquabox.org)
What goes in an Aquabox?
Contributions from Rotary Club of Upper Eden
Since 2013 clubs and charities are no longer allowed to fill Aquaboxes due to problems with contents going through Customs. They can still be purchased but are now filled centrally by the Aquabox Charity.
2012 - January - Aquabox dispatched. Number 87321.
2010 - March - Two Aqua boxes dispatched. Numbers 78014 and 78015.
2010 - November - Aquabox dispatched. Number 82238.
2010 - January - Aquabox filled by Club Members and dispatched. Number 78016.
2009 - August - Aquabox filled by Club Members and dispatched. Final destination Gambia.2009 - April - Aquabox filled by Club Members and dispatched. Final destination Pakistan.
2008 - March - Aquabox filled by Club Members and dispatched. Final destination Eritria.
2008 - May - Aquaboxes filled by Club Members and dispatched. Final destination Myanamar (Burma).
2008 - March - Aquabox filled by Club Members and dispatched. Final destination Palestinian Refugee camp in N Lebanon.
2007 - Nov - Aquabox filled by Club Members and dispatched. Final destination Bangladesh.
2007 - Sept - Aquabox filled by Club Members and dispatched. Final destination Uganda/Kenya.
2007 - March - Aquabox filled by Club Members and dispatched. Final destination Zimbabwe.
2006 - Dec- Aquabox filled by Club Members and dispatched. Final destination South Manila-Phillipines.
2006 - Sept - Aquabox filled partly by Kirkby Stephen Grammar School balance by Club Members. Final destination Honduras
2006 - Jan - 2 Aquaboxes purchased. One will be filled by year 7 students at Kirkby Stephen Grammar school. The second will be filled by Club members. Final destination not yet known.
2005 - Dec - Aquabox filled by Club Members. Final destination - Kashmir.
2005 - Oct - Aquabox filled by Club Members and one Shelter Box purchased both to the survivors of the Earthquake.
2005 - Sept - Aquabox filled with goods & equipment donated by Club Members. Final destination - Indonesia.
2005 - March - 2 'Friends of Upper Eden Rotary Club' raised £572 during a sponsored walk of Hadrian's Wall. This money was donated to the Aquabox scheme.
2005 - Jan - Donations to the club of £400, following the Tsunami appeal, were forwarded to Aquabox.
2004 - Dec - Y11 pupils at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School again filled 2 Aquaboxes. These were dispatched in support of the Asian Tsunami appeal.
2004 - May - Club members filled and dispatched an Aquabox.
2003 - Dec - Following a presentation to Y11 pupils at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School they filled 2 Aquaboxes as part of the Citizenship Voluntary Sector Project.
Wirksworth Rotary Club
Aquabox is an official project of RIBI and RI District 1220, managed by its initiators, the Rotary Club of Wirksworth in Derbyshire. Aquabox is now established as a Charitable Company. Under the provisions of this charitable status donations are sought in return for the box rather than a purchase transaction. The scheme is operated entirely by unpaid volunteers. With the exception of warehousing, promotional and communications costs and annual professional charges, it has no overheads.