In February 2017, a chain of wildfires unleashed devastation over wide swaths of central and southern Chile, killing 11 people and destroying thousands of homes. Waves for Water, in partnership with Bureo and Desafio Levantamos Chile, worked in the Concepción and Santa Olga areas to respond to the need for clean water in the aftermath of these wildfires.
Needs assessments by rescue teams and local organizations uncovered severe issues with access to potable water; in some areas, local residents were provided with questionable water stored in dirty plastic tanks, and in other areas, residents were boiling river water to use as their sole source of water. In order to minimize the risk of waterborne disease in the aftermath of the wildfires, Waves for Water worked with local organizations to lead implementation of simple, sustainable water filtration systems in these rural areas, helping 6,000 people gain access to clean water for the next 10 years.
Thanks to sponsorship by Aeromexico, Waves for Water was able to implement 120 standalone water filters and 20 faucet filters, and provided training to encourage long-term implementation of these solutions. The group is currently working to set up sustainable rain-catching systems for these rural and underserved areas to improve access to potable water.