Text: Inigo S. Roces / Photos: H2O Technologies | posted June 21, 2016 07:22
Crowd-funding started for amphibian rescue vehicle project
Much of the Philippines continues to be threatened by annual flooding with as many as 26,000 flood-prone barangays identified by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council or NDRRMC. Besides this, super typhoons and calamities could once again strike, compounding the annual problem. Often the first to be affected by these disasters is the transport system, which inhibits the transport of relief goods, assistance, and evacuation of those affected.
In response to these particular challenges posed by today’s severe weather, H2O Technologies, a wholly Filipino technology company, has developed the H2O Salamander. It is an amphibious multi-utility vehicle that can operate on both land and water.
The vehicle was designed flexibly operate in either terrain. The H2O Salamander can carry up to 6 passengers (driver included) and comes in electric and gasoline-powered versions. It can also operate as a public transportation solution or even for private and recreational use.
To better respond to typhoon-related disasters, particularly severe flooding in highly urbanized areas, engineers of H2O have retrofitted the prototypes with storage spaces for medical kits, as well as a solar-powered cellphone charger to power devices of those rescued so they can communicate with their loved ones without draining the vehicle's main power source.
First launched two years ago, several prototypes have already been built and tested, not just by interested local government units, but by media outfits and interested private parties as well.
More recently, H2O Technologies is partnering with the single biggest non-government organization (NGO) that responds to natural calamities like typhoons and massive flooding — the Philippine Red Cross.
H2O is partnering with the Philippine Red Cross in helping local government units manage natural calamities better by donating 500 units of the H2O Salamander. For a successful campaign, H2O needs to raise the amount of US$4.3 million, to construct a manufacturing facility to meet this demand. A site has already been selected in a special economic zone in Laguna.
To do this, it will embark on a 60-day crowd source funding campaign via www.startsomegood.com, a crowd-funding platform for social enterprises, non-profit projects and change makers. The campaign will give social change supporters the opportunity to pledge US$10, $50, $100, $150 and $2,500 in this crowd funding campaign.
As acknowledgement for their support, pledgers will receive various tokens commensurate to their contribution. Those with larger contributions will be given an advertising opportunity, with their company logo placed on the doors of one of the 500 units that will be donated.
H2O Technologies hopes that this crowd-funding campaign will not only kickstart the construction of the manufacturing but allow the company to drastically lower costs and continue research and improvement.
To pledge support, log on to www.startsomegood.com and searching for the H2O Salamander. The crowd-funding campaign will run from 27 June to 26 August 2016.