Five months after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, 40 percent of the island’s population — more than a million people — still lack access to safe drinking water and electricity. The MIT D-Lab is helping out: As part of an extracurricular activity for the course called Water. Climate Change, and Health, classmates — including 2017-18 KSJ fellow Teresa Carr, right — recently traveled to North Andover, Massachusetts, to volunteer.
Alongside workers from the solar power industry, the class took part in Power On, Puerto Rico, a project sponsored by the nonprofit disaster-relief organization Amurtel. The goal: sending the island 10 trailers fitted with filtration systems that can purify 600 gallons of water daily, and with solar-powered stations to charge up to 10 phones and five laptops at a time. A spokesperson for Amurtel says three trailers should be in place by the end of February and the organization is currently raising funds to equip seven more.