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Rotarians deliver purification systems to 500 Dominican households
Juando Reyes, president of the young Rotarian club named Rotarioinnovador, instructs people on how to assemble and use the filters. - photo by Photo Contributed

Nearly one billion people have no access to clean, safe water. In the developing world, finding a reliable source of safe water is often time-consuming and expensive to obtain. Helping to alleviate the problem in some small measure, the Rotary Club of Turlock, donated and dispensed water purification systems to as many as 500 households in the Dominican Republic.

In August, Rotarians Rob Geiger, Tom Sperry, Gary Wahl and Mike Brem from The Rotary Club of Turlock traveled to the Dominican Republic to distribute free drinking water filters to 500 households in the impoverished village of Las Malvinas through the Water Filter Prefect, a charity dedicated to helping provide clean, safe water to third world countries.

 “I have never seen anything like this,” said Geiger.  “About 3,000 community members and their families gathered around to receive their filter for their household.”

Villagers across Santo Domingo lined up to receive their water filters that were donated by The Rotary Club of Turlock and distributed with the assistance of local Rotarians from Santo Domingo. Rotarians also brought school supplies and four large suitcases filled with clothing to aide families in need.

“Coming to the Dominican Republic was a bit of a culture shock to me,” said Geiger.  “The conditions that these families live in are unlike any other I’ve seen before.  They were so happy and appreciative towards us that it made me honored to be a part of such a great project.”

Family members were instructed on how to assemble, use and clean their clay-based filters. When properly and periodically cleaned, these filters can provide clean and safe drinking water for up to 10 years.

“Through this Water Filter Project, families will be able to have fresh clean water and a better quality of life,” said Geiger.

The Rotary Club of Turlock provides service to the local community, such as raising funds for activities and providing support services for organizations or needy individuals in the community. Rotarians also provide international services to needy organizations and individuals in foreign countries.

“The Rotary Club in Turlock has provided funding for water wells in isolated areas of Ethiopia, as well as for an eye care clinic in rural India,” added Geiger.  “The Water Filter Project in the Dominican Republic is the first time in which we had Rotarians travel to a foreign country to help with our time on an international level. We hope to be more involved in International Service and donate our time to help with these great causes.”