Water Missions International, a nonprofit organization based in West Ashley, is working to provide safe drinking water in a northern region of Peru that has been devastated by flooding.

The organization, which provides ready-built water filtration and chlorination systems worldwide, already has equipment on the ground at a headquarters in Iquitos, Peru. Iquitos is the capital of the Loreto region, which has been hit by what Peruvian authorities call the worst flooding in three decades.

Above-average precipitation caused the Amazon River to overflow its banks, leading the Peruvian government to declare a state of emergency in Loreto in early April. So far, the Red Cross estimates that more than 200,000 people have been displaced by the flooding, and many sources of clean drinking water have been compromised. Recently, at least three people have been killed and 38 sickened by leptospirosis, a rare bacterial disease carried in fresh water contaminated with animal urine, according to the Associated Press. Doctors also report that residents (especially children) are suffering from diarrhea and respiratory, eye, and skin infections.

Seth Womble, Peru program manager for Water Missions International, says all of the Peru staff members and some staff from Honduras are working to provide relief in Loreto. He says they are working with local Rotarians, relief organizations including ShelterBox, and government officials to assess the damage.

If you would like to support the cause of Water Missions International, call (843) 769-7395 or visit the WMI website.

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