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Safe Water Brings Hope After Hurricanes

Water Mission
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La Danta, Honduras, was a thriving community before Hurricanes Eta and Iota struck in November. More than 100 families benefited from a local school, neighborhood markets, and convenient access to safe water through a Water Mission Living Water Treatment System (LWTS). A nearby factory provided steady employment to many, including Melissa Flores, a 34-year-old mother of four.  

Then, two Category 4 hurricanes swept through Central America just three weeks apart. They affected La Danta and more than 3 million people throughout Honduras. Across the country, homes were submerged and crops were ruined. An estimated 180,000 people were displaced. In La Danta, Melissa’s factory was damaged and she lost her job.  

After staying with relatives for several weeks, waiting for conditions to improve, Melissa and her husband returned home with the children, ready to rebuild. They were especially eager to have access to safe water again.  

“I want water [at home] more than electricity,” Melissa told us, as she and her children scraped mud out of the house. They were relieved to find their home still standing, but the 10-foot floodwaters left the walls, floor, and every belonging covered in a thick coat of mud.  

After four days of cleaning, there was still much to be done. While her husband was at work, Melissa’s oldest sons shoveled the debris outside. Her daughter swept the floors. Melissa threw away damaged items as her seven-year-old son played in the mud nearby.   

“Once we clean up here, we can make do with whatever we have,” she said, “but I want safe water for my family.”

Using real-time data provided by our remote monitoring technology, Water Mission engineers immediately determined which safe water systems were damaged by the hurricanes. Our Honduras staff traveled to 20 communities, including La Danta, to repair those systems and build enhanced protections from future storms and flooding. As residents returned to their communities, they at least had safe water. 

With the prayers and generosity of friends like you, our team in Honduras has spent the last several months addressing the immediate and long-term needs of people affected by the hurricanes.

As soon as the wind and rains subsided, Water Mission brought safe water from our country office in Tocoa to emergency shelters and impacted communities. We then installed 24 new emergency safe water treatment systems in the hardest-hit places.  

Our team distributed more than 1 million easy-to-use water purification packets, donated by P&G, and more than 6,000 hygiene kits. These kits included essentials to help protect against COVID-19, such as face masks and hand sanitizer. 

Now, as Melissa and her family look to the future, Water Mission is too. Our engineers are assessing the affected communities and identifying opportunities to install additional safe water treatment systems. 

Our disaster relief initiatives are designed to provide long-term support and safe water solutions to affected communities, not just temporary aid. When you support Water Mission, you offer tangible hope to people in the immediate aftermath of a crisis and as they rebuild.