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Donate to Operation Agua to help Puerto Ricans get safe water

The following is from AFT Washington:

(Nov. 20, 2017) — Two months after Hurricane Maria devastated their island, a million Puerto Ricans still have no safe drinking water. People are resorting to collecting water in contaminated waterways or from runoff, even from toxic Superfund sites. Water-treatment plants are still not operational so those who are lucky enough to have running water may have their tap water tainted with raw sewage.

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten and several AFT nurses spent time in Puerto Rico after the hurricane and were alarmed by the dehydration that people are experiencing as well as the danger of waterborne illnesses caused by the lack of clean drinking water.

Soon after, the AFT launched Operation Agua to provide safe drinking water by raising money to purchase and distribute 100,000 individual water filtration systems for households and classrooms and 50 large-capacity clean-water devices to a network of nonprofit organizations, union offices, schools, and other community-based groups to provide stable and reliable sources of safe water.


The need is far from over, especially since the federal government has not done enough to restore their systems. Operation Agua has raised $1 million, but needs $3 million to complete their mission.

TAKE A STAND — You can show solidarity for these Americans, our sisters and brothers, by helping them access clean water. For a cost of $30, which includes shipping, you can purchase a water filtration system for personal and home use that requires no electrical power. The device can provide more than 10 gallons of safe water per day to a family. And $5,000 delivers a disinfectant generator that can disinfect 150,000 gallons per day, enough safe water for thousands of people. These larger generators will be located at buildings, such as union offices and schools, where the community can get clean water.

Operation Agua needs financial donations. Please help address this dire situation with a contribution by visiting the Operation Agua website at All donated funds will go through AFT’s Disaster Relief Fund, a designated 501(c)3, so your contributions are tax deductible.

Operation Agua is a partnership of American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Seafarers International Union (SIU), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Hispanic Federation, Operation Blessing International, Tote Maritime, and the Puerto Rican teachers’ union, Asociacion de Maestros de Puerto Rico. Learn more about Operation Agua here.

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