The Water-Survival Box is the initiative of the Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge. It arose following six months of continuous work after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean during which 3,200 water aid boxes were packed with items donated by members of the public. That operation was reviewed at the end of the 6 months and a number of ways in which it could (and should) be stream-lined were identified.
In summer 2006 six members of the Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge set up a limited company (Worldwaterworks Ltd) in order to develop the Water-Survival Box. Its primary purpose is to provide a means of purifying water for the benefit of families that survive natural or man-made disasters.
Clean water is essential to protect against water-borne disease. In most natural disasters families homes have been destroyed and all their possessions lost. This is why the box also contains a range of essential survival items including cooking pots, bowls/plates, mugs, and utensils; health and hygiene items; basic shelter and simple tools; etc.
By October, 2006 Worldwaterworks Ltd had become a Registered charity.
The first consignment of 60 WSBs was sent following a typhoon that devastated part of the Philippines. Since then aid has been sent to many countries in SE Asia, Africa, S America and the Caribbean.
By July, 2008 the WSB project had been approved as one of Rotary’s ‘Opportunities to Serve’ and publicised to all Rotary Clubs in Britain and Ireland.
The trustees have adopted a policy of continuous improvement. This is achieved through continual review, informed by feedback from agencies involved in distributing our boxes and on-going research. In this way the box, water-purification kit, other contents, and methods of delivery and distribution are developed and regularly updated.
Since 2006 a number of partnerships have been established with Rotary Clubs and Districts as well as aid agencies such as Red Cross/Red Crescent, Oxfam, Merlin, Humanity First UK, World Vision Taiwan, and Pompiers sans Frontieres. Our partners take responsibility for ensuring swift transit of our consignments through customs on arrival and distribution to families most in need. They also provide us with feedback in the form of photographs and an account of the distribution operation.
Management of the project and the practical work involved is all done by volunteers from Rotary, Inner Wheel, Schools, and local community groups. In this way every pound donated is converted into Water-Survival boxes or helps pay for the cost of air freight.