Clean water charity aims to meet record demand

Aquabox volunteers
Image caption,Aquabox volunteers test and assemble the water filters

A charity that helps to provide clean water around the world is aiming to quadruple production following one of its busiest years on record.

Aquabox, based in Cromford, Derbyshire, has sent out 125,000 water filters since it was started in 1992 by members of the Wirksworth Rotary Club.

Volunteer Colin Petty says the charity sends aid “wherever we can make a difference”, but added it was struggling to keep up with a rise in demand due to conflicts and natural disasters, including in Turkey and Syria.

He said: “We’ve been delivering to east Africa, up to Ukraine, over to the far east and even to the Caribbean.”

Water filter in Syria
Image caption,The charity has sent filters to countries across the globe, including Syria

The charity currently sends out 3,000 filters a year and is now working on a project, called Aquaboost, to potentially quadruple supply.

This, it says, would involve rearranging the layout of existing facilities, adding extra volunteer shifts and bidding for more investment.

It wants to double production in 2024, and quadruple it by 2025.

Currently, a total of 70 volunteers assemble and test the water filters before they are sent to people in areas hit by natural or man-made disasters.

In these circumstances, people can often only access water that is contaminated, leaving them vulnerable to water-borne diseases.

The filter removes bacteria and viruses, leaving water safe to drink. The charity also sends out boxes of mixed humanitarian aid.

Mr Petty said: “The water filters – they save lives, it’s as simple as that. With more income, more donations, more volunteer input, we can increase what we do.”

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