Unrelenting rains and increasingly dramatic flooding have ravaged many areas of Peru for weeks, making thousands of people homeless and in need of the essentials of life. Because of the pressing emergency, flood victims are in urgent need of clean drinking water, especially in remote areas of the country.
Thus, Fraport AG and its Lima Airport Partners S.R.L. (LAP) subsidiary have jointly responded to this humanitarian crisis by acquiring portable water-filtering containers known as PAUL (Portable Aqua Unit for Lifesaving) to send to Peru. Last night (March 29), the PAUL containers were airfreighted from Frankfurt to Lima, thanks to the generous support of LATAM Cargo. Each WaterBackpack PAUL system filters up to 1,200 liters of water per day – supplying clean water for 400 Peruvians daily. The 25 containers funded by Fraport and Lima Airport Partners can filter approximately 30,000 liters per day, thus providing clean and safe water for up to 10,000 flood victims in Peru.
Fraport AG’s executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte commented on the importance of the PAUL for Peru initiative: “We understand that there is an urgent need to provide safe water for drinking and other purposes, especially in remote parts of the country. Therefore, Fraport and Lima Airport Partners have combined resources to dispatch these water filtering containers to Peru. With this gesture, we want to offer support to the victims of the floods as well as solidarity to the people of Peru. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Peru during this difficult time.”
The WaterBackpack PAUL system is a portable water membrane-filtering container that can be easily used by the flood victims themselves and can be distributed to remote regions – each container weighs only about 20 kilograms. PAUL was developed at the University of Kassel in the German state of Hesse. Since 2010, PAUL containers have been successfully dispatched to many parts of the world where crisis has struck – with more than 2,300 systems currently providing live-saving water to people in nearly 70 countries.
PAUL cleanses water by filtering more than 99.99 percent of bacteria and other viruses. The pressure of the water poured into the top of the container forces the water through a membrane filter. A pre-sieve on the top of the container prevents larger particles from reaching the membrane filter.
The system works without any power, chemicals or any other external assistance. Based on the principle of self-help, PAUL allows people to take care of their own water needs. Dr. Kambiz Ghawami of Wiesbaden-based WUS World University Services – a non-governmental organization (NGO) responsible for PAUL WaterBackpacks worldwide – personally delivered the first container to Frankfurt Airport on March 27, so that it could be sent with a Fraport employee who was traveling to Peru. The remaining 24 PAUL containers flown by LATAM are scheduled to arrive in Lima on March 30.
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