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Kiwi Companies Help Prevent Disease

Kiwi Companies Help Prevent Disease In Tsunami Ravaged Islands

12th January 2005

Few people would expect that things could get any worse in areas affected by last months Tsunami. However the World Health Organisation has warned that the death toll of around 150,000 people could double, and that a further 150,000 people are currently at 'extreme risk' of disease unless they receive clean water supplies quickly.

Two Kiwi companies that are making a difference are Ozone Barter and Orcon Internet, who have set up the Indian Ocean Relief Fund for the Maldives and Seychelles islands, and who are currently sending over two high-capacity water treatment plants put together with their own money and the generous assistance and donation of parts by Contamination Control Ltd.

The water treatment plants that Ozone and Orcon are providing are each capable of purifying 100,000 litres of water per day, and are similar to the units that the NZ Defence Force uses.

Orcon Managing Director, Seeby Woodhouse says "In the aftermath of a disaster like this, clean water is essential to prevent the spread of Giardia, diarrhoea and respiratory illnesses. We know that the Maldives have at least 20 major islands with contaminated water supplies, so getting assistance to the people there is of the utmost urgency".

The Maldives and Seychelles have a combined total of 1,311 islands and a combined population of nearly 400,000 people. Over 100,000 people in the Maldives alone have been 'severely affected' says the United Nations.

Woodhouse says that "We originally set up the Indian Ocean Aid Fund for the Maldives and Seychelles because they have been somewhat overlooked by many of the international aid organisations due to the fact that they are much smaller countries than many of the other affected nations.

However, unlike many other affected countries, these are island nations and so survivors cannot simply move further inland or be easily delivered supplies from other parts of the country. In the Maldives, the airport and many of the islands are still underwater so it is difficult to get any aid to people there. Within 6 months, 1,000 women are expected to give birth, but at least 10 health care facilities have been severely damaged meaning that expectant mothers may not be able to get the care they need."

Other organisations have also been lending a hand to the Indian Ocean Relief Fund, such as St John who have donated 100 first aid kits, second hand clothing stores who have donated clothing and to Korean Air who have flown supplies to the islands for free.

New Zealanders wishing to donate can do so via Internet banking to the 'Indian Ocean Aid Fund', Account Number: 03-0207-0234330-00 or by visiting www.seychelles.org.nz. Those people wanting to find relatives or friends in the Seychelles can contact the Fund care of Ozone Barter at 0800 469663. Money donated goes directly to the local government disaster relief fund in the relevant country.

ABOUT ORCON INTERNET Founded in 1995, Orcon Internet has grown to become New Zealands forth largest supplier of internet services. In 2004 it won the Netguide "Best ISP of the Year" award.

Seeby Woodhouse, Managing Director of the privately held company, is the current holder of the Ernst & Young, Young Entrepreneur of the year award as well as the HiTech, Young Achiever of the year award.

More information can be found at www.orcon.net.nz.

ABOUT OZONE BARTER LIMITED Ozone Barter Limited is the second largest barter exchange in New Zealand. The company assists businesses move surplus products or services which are on-sold for 'trade credits'. These trade credits can then be used by Ozone members to buy goods and services they need - thus helping to reduce their cash costs and increasing their overall sales turn-over.

More information can be found at www.ozone.net.nz

ENDS

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