Following the catastrophic earthquake that brought destruction to the Caribbean state of Haiti in January 2010, Grünbeck wanted to provide immediate help to the people there in the form of a complete, mobile, container-type water treatment system. The project was able to take place not least thanks to the generous efforts of numerous volunteers from the Grünbeck team. Not long afterwards, a second drinking water container for Haiti was built in cooperation with the company's business partners and suppliers, who had donated the necessary money and materials.
Each of the drinking water treatment systems, which were produced especially for this aid initiative, is able to provide around 900 to 1,000 litres of drinking water per hour, even from water that is polluted, or contaminated with harmful germs. In Haiti, a country in which countless people - nameless to the authorities - are forced to live out their lives in unimaginable conditions of hygiene, freely available, clean drinking water has a value that we in this country can barely begin to imagine.
In collaboration with MHW (Medizinisches Katastrophen-Hilfswerk), the two Grünbeck drinking water treatment systems were initially deployed as immediate aid in two S.O.S. Kinderdorf children's homes on the edge of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince and in the north of the island state. Once the two children's homes no longer needed the systems, a new drinking water aid project was sought, investigated and found, again in collaboration with MHW in Port-au-Prince.
Since February 2015, the drinking water treatment systems have been in use in Haiti's largest school project, OPEPB (Oeuvre des Petites Écoles de Père Bohnen – Father Bohnen's oeuvre of little schools), run by Haitian Salesian fathers led by Father Zucchi Olibrice . OPEPB looks after the poorest of the poor and runs several kindergartens, schools and a vocational school in the largest two slums of Port-au-Prince, “Cité Soleil” and “La Saline”.
In close collaboration with OPEPB, the German doctor Barbara Höfler has been looking after the health of the pupils and their parents for many years. She holds regular consultation hours in the largest preschool in “Cité Soleil” and informs the parents on hygiene and health matters. The charitable association LESPWA- Hoffnung für Kinder in Haiti e.V., based in Cologne, supports Dr. Höfler's work.
One of the two Grünbeck drinking water systems operates within a locked and guarded school yard and is intended to supply the drinking water for all OPEPB schools in “Cité Soleil” . The second system is used for the controlled provision of drinking water for slum dwellers on a Salesian plot, protected by a wall and security guards, directly opposite the school. In total, the two systems can supply around 20,000 people in need with free, clean drinking water.