RICHARD's desk...: Our staff writers are very involved in helping people in need

 A number of our staff writers work for the benefit of others in various parts of the world.

Read an excerpt from a letter Staff writer Todd writes about the need for clean drinking water as children in Mexico are getting sick from the toxic waters they currently drink.

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“I have been back in the country almost a week. I am visiting villages almost daily and coordinating possible actions with Rotary who also wishes to execute projects.

When the government returns about 08 Jan I will be seeking a meeting with municipal presidents with a mutual interest in these projects.  In that political candidates must announce they are running and what minor parties are jointing them by March  I expect quite some confusion.  Indeed some candidates now in office will be wishing some quick actions to shine a good light on their party. Come July we will have a new president for Mexico, many state governors and a mass of county presidents and village mayors.

Our immediate focus is the 1000+ children in various of the 5 stages of kidney disease.  We have conducted 10 element urinalysis testing on 550 children in La Zapatero and Chalpicote since August and plan hopefully to with Chief Nurse Dietz’s team to do another 500 in San Pedro Itzican early in January as the children return to school where we can most easily set things up. We may call soon on some funds for that action.

A slow sand filter pilot project to purify drinking water directly from the lake for a village may be the first seeking significant funds.  I need to present that to the federal authorities since they have never authorized other than deep wells (200 meters +)  for lakeside villagers.  But, now it is rather clear that for the NE shore of the lake, where 20 extinct volcanos remain very hot, that the potential for arsenic, lead and fluoride are real and such water cannot be economically treated.  Thus, the lake, a few feet away is a logical choice, the same lake that provides water for 3,000,000 in Guadalajara.  Also pumping cost will be 50-80& less since we need to lift the water perhaps only 10 meters from the lake versus 200 meters from a deep well.”

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We wish Todd all the very best in his endeavours in Mexico.

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