by David Kelly
- Professional Contributor
from Los Angeles, California in United States
Jon Rose in the Philippines after a typhoonLeonhard-Virgil [Wikimedia Commons]
In September 2009, pro surfer Jon Rose was finishing up a surf trip in Indonesia. He had brought along ten small water filters, which he was planning on delivering to a remote village in need of clean water. He was anchored in a boat off of the city of Padang when disaster struck. A magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit the region, and the city was left in shambles: fallen buildings, broken sewer lines, car accidents and landslides were just some of the problems. The casualties and injuries were overwhelming.
Jon was a first responder. He abandoned his original plan and went ashore with his filters just hours after the quake. He was able to install his small, grapefruit-sized filters into anything that could hold dirty water, instantly making the water potable. The water was used for drinking, and more importantly for cleaning the wounds of the many injured. It was after this experience that Jon realized his calling.
Growing up as a surfer, water had always been a prominent part of Jon’s life. Traveling the world as a professional, Jon was exposed to the poverty of the third world countries. Drinking dirty water is the leading cause for disease and malnutrition in these poor regions. Yet while it is one of the largest problems facing global health, it is also one of the easiest to remedy. After his initial effort in Padang, Jon realized this and took it upon himself to do his part.
About a month after leaving Indonesia, Jon’s phone rang. It was Sean Penn. Penn had heard about his project in Indonesia and was wondering if this same type of water filtration distribution would be a viable option for Haiti. An earthquake had just devastated Haiti, leaving the cities and infrastructure in severe disrepair. Penn was looking to provide medical aid, clean water and food for the Haitian people. Two days later Jon was in Haiti and his Waves For Water organization really came into its own.
Since then, Jon has been in and out of Haiti providing relief for the thousands suffering because of contaminated water sources. The city streets are clogged with trash, decay and human waste. Jon and his organization have been distributing small charcoal-based filters that can be plugged into the bottom of a normal bucket. One filter can provide a family with its daily supply of clean drinking water. Waves for Water has been augmenting the U.N. relief efforts by providing water filtration devices to local political and community leaders that are in the best position to effectively distribute the resources.
Of the six billion people living on the planet, one billion live without clean water and 4,000 children die every day from its devastating effects. Drinking dirty water causes constant exposure to cholera, dysentery, E. coli as well as many other diseases and parasites. There is still much to be done about poverty and poor water quality, and it is only through the generosity of kind-hearted individuals and the intrepid vision of heroes like Jon Rose that these problems can be solved.
Page created on 8/2/2014 3:04:46 PM
Last edited 12/30/2020 7:03:59 PM
The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.
Waves For Water
- Waves for Water works on the front-line to provide clean water to communities in need around the world.