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Veerhouse Voda partners with Water for Everyone NL and Stichting Haiti Project to build a water purification school

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Teaching Haiti the art of clean water – Veerhouse Voda partners with Water for Everyone NL and Stichting Haiti Project to build a water purification school.

New York, NY; Haiti- February 2012

Two years have passed since the 7.3 earthquake tragically demoralized Haiti killing more than an estimated 316,000 and injuring more than 300,000 people. The government of Haiti estimates that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings collapsed or were severely damaged with over 1,000,000 made homeless. Today, the rebuilding effort continues due to a host of determined volunteers, government agencies and private companies such as Veerhouse Voda, a Dutch-American construction firm and Water for Everyone NL. Health, shelter and drinkable water are just a few of the matters these groups address.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO; wwmwho.int) approximately 3.5 million people die annually from diseases caused by polluted drinking water and poor hygiene. One and a half million of those are children. Haiti is no exception. Clean water is necessary to sustaining life, yet even though there is an abundance of wells and springs in Haiti, every day Haitians must walk miles just to get potable water. What seems commonplace to so many in the world is a luxury for the majority of Haiti’s 10 million inhabitants. Cholera, alone, has killed 6,797 people in Haiti since the outbreak in October 2010.

Starting this week further steps are being taken to improve the drinking water vulnerability in Haiti. Veerhouse Voda, which creates sustainable, affordable and fully recyclable building systems, along with Water for Everyone NL, a Dutch foundation which educates the right to clean water, and Stichting Haiti Project, another Dutch foundation that provides funding for the building of schools, have teamed up to build schools in Haiti. The team will build a 300 square meter (3,239 square feet) school in Bon Repos, Haiti, dedicated to teaching Haitians how to purify water. The team has three main responsibilities: Stichting Haiti Project will provide the funding of the materials, Veerhouse-voda will build the school’s structure using their innovative system, and Water For Everyone NL will manage the school and estimates it will educate hundreds of young Haitian students per year once constructed.

Veerhouse Voda uses an innovative environmentally sustainable system, which makes construction of homes and commercial structures five times faster than traditional construction block methods. The structure will be composed of steel framing, EPS (Expanded Polystyrene), and a mortar composed of a patented blend of cement and additives. The combination of these elements creates an earthquake, hurricane and fire resistant structure. The water school will be completed in only one month. In addition, the Veerhouse Voda system eliminates the need for heavy machinery and employs local Haitians in the building of these structures.

”We are beyond excited to begin work on this project” says Veerhouse Voda construction director, Channa Perera, ”Not only is delivering clean water uplifting, the jobs we provide create great smiles on the locals; they are the hardest working group.”

“The ultimate goals of the water school are to create awareness, disperse drinkable water, and provide local training in the field of water and sanitation in relation to health. Our motto is reducing the size of the huge gap between what must be done and can be done, to enable people in the world to provide clean drinking water,” states Leo Groendijk, Water for Everyone NL’s chairman.

The team hopes this is just the first of many schools and the start of major changes in the awareness of drinkable water in Haiti. In addition to the building of this school, Water for Everyone NL has placed 18 water purifiers throughout Haiti with the hope of lessening death and disease throughout the island.

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If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Veerhouse Voda, Water for Everyone NL or Stichting Haiti Project call Emily Murphy at 917-822-8074 or email Emily at Emily@coaldiamond.com

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