Activist fights for water purification for people living with HIV
Activist, who uses the online alias Lifestraw, said he has been fighting for the rights of people living in Haiti with HIV and other infections for years.
His fight was ignited when he was contacted by a friend who was battling the virus.
He said he was inspired by a young man in Haiti who shared his story.
He went on to create his own brand, Lifesaver Water.
“I knew this was a huge story that was affecting so many people,” he said.
Lifesavers are disposable plastic water bottles that can be used to purify drinking water.
He hopes to raise $5 million for a new project.
“It’s really important to make sure that we don’t take the opportunity for people who are in the most vulnerable position, in Haiti, to just go and drink from the tap and that it is safe,” Lifesaving Haiti project coordinator Mandy Fonseca said.
“If we can help people understand that this is a safe way to drink water, then it’s going to be a huge benefit.”
Lifesave Water will use purified water pills to purifier water that is used by about 100,000 people in Haiti.
Fonsca said she hopes to distribute them to communities in need.
“People who are living in poverty, those who are homeless, those people who have no access to clean water, they should be able to go to the tap, drink it and not feel guilty about that,” she said.
The project has received support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has funded the water purifying project.
The U.N. agency said it would provide financial support for the project, but that it did not yet have a timeline for when it would begin.
Fonsca said Lifesaw Water would provide clean water for 10,000 Haitians.
The Haitian Red Cross has also been working with the Lifesaved Haiti project to help people find other options for drinking water and to help communities rebuild.