How you can help those in need!

Around the world there an increasing demand of providing basic necessities to countries that have been affected by war and natural disasters. As a student of Mechanical Engineering I took an initiative to research some methods which engineers and scientists have developed to find an economical and accessible solutions. This was possible, through a course at my university called “Passion Project”, where the goal was to raise awareness and inspire other professionals in the field of engineering, so that civilians can receive their basic necessities.

I included the following in the “umbrella” of what is considered a basic necessity:

  1. Water:
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

According the United Nations, 783 million people don’t have access to clean drinking water and at least 6 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.

Lifestraw has developed a handheld syringe that can filter down to impurities down to 0.2 microns. This technology also removes bacteria and protozoan parasites which may be in rivers, streams, ponds and lakes. Although Life Straw’s product may be the solution, it costs just under twenty dollars and is too expensive to be funded on a global scale.

2. Shelter:

The Survival Capsule

In 2015, 65.3 million people were displaced out of there homes due to war and persecution, once displaced they are exposed them to potential diseases and other sanitation issues. In current times people are forced to live in refugee camps with limited space and resources. Individuals who are displaced by war have the only option to flee which can be dangerous as they maybe caught in crossfire.

Julian Sharpe, the founder of The Survival Capsule, has developed a capsule which can help families who are dissipated by natural disasters to find shelter, food, and safety for a short duration of time. The Survival Capsule comes in various sizes holding up to 10 people with sufficient food for ten days, GPS, light, air, capability to float upright on water and air tight door. The capsule may possibly help save many lives, but considering the cost, storage and number of times a natural disaster occurs, it is not a solution for an average household.

3. Health Care and Sanitation:

2.5 billion people don’t have access to adequate sanitation every year leading to untreated wounds, infections, diseases and even death at times. Our current method of providing health supplies to affected area is by air dropping survival kits, which mainly contain medical supplies, food and water. Once these kits a deployed they are only accessible to those with in a close proximity.

Those who are injured and require medical attention are airlifted to a nearby hospitals. However many individuals cannot to be accessed or identified for requiring medical aid as they are trapped under debris or stuck with in their houses.

These are just a few basic living necessities to which everyone is entitled to have. We can only imagine if everyone started to contribute their ideas and develop technologies that will bring relief to area affected through earthquake, tsunami, war and other known natural disasters. In modern society we should focus on creating products which; are reliable, cost efficient, easy to use and accessible to society.

This is clearly a long term project, but one fact we know is that there would always be some sort of natural disaster in the future where civilians are constrained from attaining food, water, shelter, healthcare and other basic necessities. It would be a shame to reflect back and realize that over the years we were not able ease the pain of families and individuals who don’t have access to their living necessities.

I encourage everyone to have an open mind and share your ideas with professors and other students. There is an endless possibility if we all come out as one community and invest of our time to help those in need.

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