Imagine solving an entire country’s rural water crisis. That’s exactly the goal one San Diego-based charity is hoping to accomplish by providing clean water to the country of Fiji.
Darrell Larson founded the charity, Give Clean Water, from his Mira Mesa home in 2008.
Now, more than 50,000 special water filters later, he’s on the verge of a breakthrough.
“We want to solve a country’s water crisis,” said Larson.
This weekend, Larson is heading to Fiji to sign a memorandum of understanding alongside Fiji’s Ministry of Health. Basically, it means the government of Fiji is recognizing Larson’s non-profit organization as their best shot at fixing what, until now, has been an unsolvable problem.
“In working with the Fiji Ministry of Health, they’re actually going to provide, in partnership, their health workers -- the health inspectors, the local health nurses and the health workers who live inside each village,” explained Larson.
Along with helping to install water filters used by Give Clean Water in homes, government workers will do follow-ups for continuing education and also document health changes as a result of having the clean water supply.
For Larson, it’s the sustainable solution he’s been working towards for five years.
“I’m not aware of any country where they’ve had half the population that drinks contaminated water and that crisis has been solved,” said Larson.
Hard to believe a little filter can clean even the nastiest water.
Larson says this simple process removes 99.9 percent of all bacteria -- even from a place where garbage is the least of your worries.
The filters, if back-flushed and cleaned, are meant to last 10 years.
But Larson says it’s the people helping to make it happen who are the real difference-makers.
"I'm just like everybody else, they want to do something purposeful and meaningful in life, and we've gotten together a bunch of people that want to join in on that journey," he said.
Give Clean Water is looking for more volunteers, as well as people to partner financially with the charity. For information on how to get involved, visit this website.