/ News & Headlines

19 Jan 2010

London Free Press Article: TrojanUV & Haiti Relief

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Clean water will soon be on its way to earthquake ravaged Haiti, thanks to London's Trojan Technologies, among Canadian companies racing to bolster relief efforts.

The water purification business is sending two units capable of cleaning nearly 30,000 litres of dirty water a day, as well as a 5,000 gallon storage tank, meaning 4,000 people will be getting clean water by the end of the week, said Marvin DeVries, chief executive of Trojan Technologies.

"Clean water is what we do. We have reacted the same as others have across the city and country.

"We are deeply distraught by the devastation and we are asking what we can do to make a difference," said DeVries.

The units -- they are worth $20,000 each -- will pump dirty water from a stream or pond and use filters and ultra-violet light to clean the water, and then into a storage tank and water will be distributed directly to residents in Port au Prince.

"I read recently that money is meaningless there, the real currency is water," he added.

Trojan is one of many Canadian businesses lining up to strengthen relief efforts in Haiti.

Tim Hortons and WestJet, for example, are just two of the most recognizable brands in Canada pitching in.

As of Monday, all proceeds from coin collection boxes at Tim Hortons coffee shop counters and drive-through locations across North America started going directly to UNICEF's fund for quake survivors. In addition, Tim Hortons announced a $100,000 corporate donation for the hundreds of thousands of displaced residents living in and around the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

Also on Monday, World Vision Canada got a lift from WestJet. The Calgary-based airline manned a free chartered flight from Toronto direct to Port-au-Prince loaded with 6,800 kilograms in World Vision supplies.

"Such human suffering needs to be addressed immediately and therefore as an organization we are responding corporately and at the employee level in the hopes of being able to provide any assistance we can," said WestJet President and CEO Sean Durfy. WestJet is also freeing up cargo space on its flights to Miami for other aid agencies to deliver supplies and made a $100,000 corporate donation to the Canadian Red Cross on Friday.

London-based Trojan is working with two agencies on the ground there, World Vision and the Christian Reform World Relief Committee, both of which have been in Haiti for years. The agencies will ensure engineers there will get the systems operating, so Trojan staff are not travelling to the area.

Trojan is working with a Thunder Bay company, Global Hydration Water Treatment Systems, which has the units now and are sending them to London, likely by Wednesday. They will be up and running by week's end, he hopes.

The Thunder Bay business uses filters to clean water while Trojan uses UV light and these units have both of those systems, making them ideal for Haiti.

"We are working hard to get these components out and ship them as a package," said DeVries.

Trojan will also send a generator and a pump as there is no power in Haiti. One of the units will be able to treat 19,000 litres and the other 8,500 litres daily.

"It will not change the situation there, but we are hoping this helps," he added.

This is the first time Trojan has sent full units to a disaster-struck area and they will look at sending more units in perhaps as early as next week as they plan to partner with schools and churches looking to support aid efforts there, said DeVries.

Trojan staff are not only volunteering their time but also donating money, matched by the company to aid in Haiti relief, he added.

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