Life-saving tool making its way to Ukraine thanks to East Tenn group

Through donations, the group is able to design and leave countries with their own kit.
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 11:37 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - As of Thursday, more than two-million people fled Ukraine. Power and water were cut off in some neighbors in Ukraine which has kept the people left behind without critical things like clean water.

An East Tennessee man and his nonprofit, Air Mobile Ministries, were flying into the battle field with a life-saving device that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Joe Hurston jumped in his plane, to respond to disasters in Haiti and south Louisiana for more than a decade. Now, he’s planning a trip to Ukraine to deliver several of his air mobile rescuers, which are water purifiers.

The purifier uses a filter and ultraviolet light to clean the water of what could be deadly bacteria or chemicals that could find its way in after water lines were damaged or turned off for a long period of time. The device can produce up to 25 gallons of pure water every hour, which is enough drinking water for 1,000 people a day.

Through donations, the group was able to design and leave countries with their own kit. Hurston planned to leave nearly a dozen in Ukraine.

“If it’s war, and there’s all the bombing, there’s probably not a single source of water anywhere around there because whatever sources of water they had are now cross contaminated,” said Hurston. “When you blow up a building, you’ve got all your water lines just open and they’re open to sewer and bacteria and viruses. So, this is a major major problem that is evolving before our very eyes.”

Hurston typically flies his own plane when he travels, but this time he booked a 17-hour commercial flight.

The plan was to land in Poland next Saturday and drive into Ukraine. To follow the group’s journey or donate, click here.

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