Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 17, 2018
Tore Knos (, of the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club, is a board member of Disaster Aid USA, a Rotary project. He is a Past President of the North Atlanta Rotary Club. He has a PhD in Public Administration from the University of Georgia, and is also a certified master plumber (practical hands-on experience). He has traveled in Asia, Panama, Mexico, Sweden and Costa Rica, and speaks English, Swedish and Spanish. In 2013 he hiked the 2178 mile Appalachian Trail through 14 states over 5½ months as a Rotary fundraiser.
Disaster Aid USA is a non-profit corporation established in 2010 in Washington, DC, by the former Central Maryland/Washington DC ShelterBox USA team. Its Board of Directors are all active Rotarians representing every Rotarian Zone in the US, 1/3 of them standing for reelection each year. Tore Knos represents Rotary Zone 26, as well as being a Disaster Aid Response Team member.
Tore presented photos from his personal experience as a member of the Response Team in disaster aid work in South Sudan (refugees from ethnic cleansing warfare), Philippines (typhoon), and Malaysia (catastrophic flooding), illustrating the disaster conditions there and the Rotarian response delivering aid to these affected people. They provided Rotarian-designed disaster tents large enough for 10 people, plus water filtration and other emergency equipment and supplies to prevent infectious diseases and starvation where local infrastructure had been destroyed.
Tore showed “Sawyer Point One” water filter bucket-adapter kit, packaged in a plastic envelope. These kits allow converting a bucket (not included) into a water filter with a 0.1 µm hollow-fiber membrane that can remove infectious viruses, bacteria and parasites (although not chemicals). The kit includes a drill to make a hole near the bottom of the bucket (allowing space beneath for sedimentation), and a water-tight adapter to fit a small hose from this opening to the filter. The filter is turned on by holding it below the bucket so that filtered water pours out, and turned off by hanging it onto the upper edge of the bucket. This bucket filter can be set up in minutes and can supply a household with safe clean drinking water, which is in scarce supply after a disaster.
He also showed a small paperback book he has written on how to construct a “Urine Diversion Dehydrating Toilet” (which he designed with his plumbing expertise) from locally-available materials. It’s based on the concept that feces (kept separate from urine) can dehydrate into safe usable odor-free fertilizer in 6 months, while the urine which is rich in minerals and relatively free of pathogens (and kept separate from fecal contamination) can be used safely as plant fertilizer in one week. This concept prevents human waste from contaminating the water table or from being spread by dust blowing or tracked by humans, animals and insects, and contaminating food and water. One source of contamination in a village can make the entire village sick. (Cholera in Haiti, brought in after its 2010 earthquake by a South American aid worker, sickened several hundred thousand people and killed 10,000.)