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Penryn volunteer to provide 12 million litres of drinking water to typhoon victims in Philippines

By WBCraig  |  Posted: January 05, 2014

  • Secondary school teenagers using the water filter on the remote island of Logon.

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A CONSERVATIONIST from Penryn is returning to the Philippines to lead teams of local people to distribute £40,000 worth of water filters.

The filter units distributed by Matt Bjerregaard will provide 12 million litres of clean drinking water for communities in the typhoon-stricken islands.

The volunteer conservationist has so far raised half of his £6,000 target needed to distribute the lifesaving kit.

He will return to the area on Sundayjan 12.

“It’s just me and community groups from islands which I have developed as proactive teams to empower villages with clean water through the use of the filters,” he said.


“By empowering these communities with free clean drinking water it will enable them to get their lives back on track sooner with less health risk.

“Normally, clean water is expensive to buy on islands and, sadly, because of this it takes a lower priority in daily budgeting for fisher folk.

“This has led to deaths since the typhoon from heat related issues such as dehydration and disease.

“This is exacerbated as many are toiling hard in the heat of the sun to rebuild their homes without shade as a high percentage of trees were felled due to the typhoon.”

So far only one of the water filter has been distributed.

The rest of the units are in a shipping container in a port in Cebu in the Philippines.

The m£3326 so far raised through the online fundraising website youcaring.com will pay for trucking, internal shipping and labour to distribute the 120 units, which were donated by disaster relief product company Vestergaard.

“I got the donation due to my research since 2005 into livelihoods of subsistence and survival fishing communities on islands in the path of the typhoon,” said Mr Bjerregaard.

“I've finished a period of extensive surveying of drinking water sources, testing them for coliform bacteria and also looking for hotspots among islands where high rates of sickness and diarrhoea are occurring.”

As well as providing drinking water solutions, Mr Bjerregaard is also helping to provide temporary shelter, tetanus injections, first aid and oxygen while undertaking emergency medical evacuation.

Mr Bjerregaard’s progress can be followed on Twitter @VisualPersist.

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