Singapore’s own and only implementing humanitarian relief and development organisation, Mercy Relief (MR), today showcased its latest water technological applications, managed by its in-house Strategic Innovations & Partnership (SIP) unit, to Singaporeans at the nation’s commemoration of World Water Day at Marina Barrage organised by the Public Utilities Board (PUB). The latest innovations include the PedalPure, Household Rain Harvester (HRH) and Mercy Ready Meals (MRMs) alongside a photo exhibition illustrating the NGO’s water-related initiatives for acute disaster relief and longer-term sustainable development in the region.
The PedalPure is a portable and robust ultra-filtration treatment system for deployment at disaster-stricken and remote areas where power supply is affected or scarce. Partnering with the Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and Golden Season, the 700-litre-per-hour system was designed to allow more victims access to clean and safe water for consumption and survival.
Singapore’s President, Tony Tan, visited MR’s exhibition area and was acquainted to the regional works of MR, while Minister for Environment & Water Resources, Vivian Balakrishnan, cycled on the PedalPure to turn muddy water clean and drinkable, which he later drank.
Another joint innovation between MR and SP is the HRH, a simple device comprising a collapsible plastic container to collect rainwater. During the Christchurch Earthquake in February 2011, water infrastructures and sources were badly damaged and contaminated that the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group cited the severe shortage of water as a serious concern and people were advised to not shower, flush the loo or otherwise and conserve water for drinking. They were also advised to collect rainwater and boil to be used as drinking water. The HRH is an alternative and appropriate solution to such crisis scenario, where it not only provides clean water supply for consumption but, from a larger perspective, it empowers communities with the means to care for themselves, raising the level of community resilience.
In the aftermath of natural disasters, the lack and disruption of water supplies pose a serious challenge for cooking of raw food items. Working together with MR’s local corporate partner, Golden Season, MR developed ready meals with high fluid and nutrition contents, called Mercy Ready Meals (MRMs) – to overcome the need for cooking and, just as importantly, re-hydrate the survivors who are usually exposed to natural elements. The MRMs have a 3-year shelf life.
MR’s Chief Executive Hassan Ahmad commented, “Water is life, and is key to livelihood. It is the essence to immediate survival and sustainable development for vulnerable communities. Effective sanitation systems and sound hygiene cultures hinge on good water sources, which in turn reduce the threats of diseases and environmental health risks – providing opportunities for development and growth within communities. Simple yet appropriate management of waterways and water sources could lead to more than proportionate long-term economic impact especially for disadvantaged rural communities.”
MR’s in-house SIP unit was set up in 2011 to initiate and coordinate researches, designs and develop appropriate technologies for humanitarian deployment focusing on healthcare, water and sanitation, education, shelter and sustainable livelihoods.
Singaporeans got a feel of the new PedalPure
About Mercy Relief
Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.
In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.
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