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WaterStep Responds to Ebola Outbreak in DRC

This spring, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is experiencing an Ebola outbreak that has reached disaster level. Currently, there have been 1,572 cases reported and 1,045 deaths.

To fight the spread of this deadly disease, WaterStep has partnered with Jean Claude Luhere and Kashoro Nyenyezi of Helping Hands for Survivors to send 25 BleachMakers (to provide disinfection), 25 M-100 ChlorineGenerators (to make water safe to drink), and two WaterBalls (to make water easier to transport) to the DRC. 

Jean Claude conducting a training session on the BleachMaker for medical professionals in DRC.

Our BleachMaker was designed by the WaterStep manufacturing team in direct response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. Our bleach exceeds the World Health Organization standards to be used in a medical clinic and is strong enough to kill the highly contagious Ebola virus.

Jean Claude pictured with two of the medical professionals he trained while in DRC.

Jean Claude traveled to the DRC to train doctors and other medical professionals on the WaterStep equipment. While there, he was able to distribute BleachMakers and M-100 ChlorineGenerators to several medical clinics throughout the DRC. Disinfection and using safe water during medical procedures are key to stopping the spread of the Ebola virus. 

Jean Claude with a newly installed M-100 Chlorine Generator in the South-Kivu, DRC. This system will provide access to safe water and prevent the spread of waterborne diseases.

In addition to delivering equipment and training to medical professionals in the DRC, Jean Claude also visited several people within his organization, Helping Hands for Survivors. The mission of Helping Hands for Survivors is: to aid, advance and support the healing and recovery of women and children surviving and living in post-conflict communities in the DRC. The organization provides shelter and support to rape victims and their children as they heal and get back on their feet. Our hope is that healing process will be made just a little easier with access to safe water and disinfectant; basic needs every woman has to take care of their families. 

Jean Claude pictured with a WaterStep WaterBall and two of the women who run the Survivors Home in DRC.

Jean Claude also blessed an orphanage Helping Hands for Survivors supports with a WaterBall. The WaterBall is a water transport tool that rolls easily over almost any surface. The average container a woman or child carries on their head to transport water holds 5 gallons and weighs 40 pounds. That five gallons will supply water to one person in the family for one day. Depending on the size of the family, the women and children may have to make multiple trips a day to get water. The WaterBall holds 12.5 gallons of water which is 2.5 times the amount they can carry on their heads and rolls easily on the ground, relieving them of carrying the weight on their heads.

WaterStep team members Kurt and Claudia Daniels are pictured with Jean Claude and Kashoro as they prepared the WaterStep equipment to be shipped to DRC.

WaterStep is thankful for the opportunity to partner with Helping Hands for Survivors to stop the spread of Ebola in the DRC and to provide access to safe water, disinfectant and a water transport tool to the Survivors Home. 

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