Filters For Life

Village of Hope - Rotary Biosand Filter Training - Tanzania

Village of Hope, Tanzania

NPCA and WC logos

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION, working with Friendly Water for the World.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.

BSF in process of being built

Location
Village of Hope - Nyegezi, Mwanza, Tanzania

Community Description
Village of hope is a care center for children located at Nyegezi ward in Mwanza region. Mwanza is a mid-sized port city on the southern shores of Lake Victoria in northwestern Tanzania. With a population of over 700,000, it is Tanzania's second largest city, following Dar es Salaam. Mwanza is the capital of the surrounding Mwanza Region.

Problem Addressed
The Village of Hope care center provides all the basic needs of children and youth, such as housing, food, education, health care and so on.  Children are brought to the center at different age stages, but once they reach 18 years old, they get sent back to their family or community. Some of the kids have no family to be sent to, but they have a good chance to start a new life independently because of the skills they learned at the center.

The center has no reliable source of drinking water, which makes it extremely hard to keep the kids healthy. A big chunk of the center’s income has been spent on charcoal for boiling water. Nonetheless, waterborne diseases such as typhoid, amoeba and dysentery are common at the center.

Project Description
The idea of a BioSand water filter training project was introduced to the community for the purpose of providing safe and clean water to people in order to reduce water-related diseases. They were enthusiastic :-)

This project is a WASH and Bio Sand Water Filter Fabrication Training. Projects like this have proven very valuable and deliver high performance and profound effects in many areas of lesser developed countries like Tanzania, where access to safe water is still a problem. Improvement of people’s health is the major outcome, and there is a rise in living standards of people who are engaged in these projects. New employment opportunities is another impact in Tanzania. Approximately 200 group members who have been trained so far, are now employed under this project through fabrication, selling water and selling filters to earn income.

This project to provide training on the making and maintaining of BioSand Water Filters to 28 members of the center will have similar benefit. The operation will not only provide a continuous and reliable access to clean drinking water but it will also provide a source of income to the center through the sale of drinking water and filters in the community.
Training in progress, VOH Tanzania
Community Organizations
​This training is a collaboration of Water Charity, Friendly Water, CLAO and Village of Hope.

Community Life Amelioration Organization (CLAO) is the local organization (initiated by Tanzanian) registered under nongovernmental Organization act, 2002 (registration no 00NGO/0008807) with the aim to implement bio sand water filter projects in Tanzania with Friendly Water For The World. CLAO will be working with community at grassroots level in different projects initiated to raise community wellbeing economically, socially and in terms of health. Under this project, CLAO will organize the training, do preparation for all other requirements of Testing the BSFthe training, and conduct the training, monitor and evaluate the project’s progress.

Our vision is “to see a sustainable community where everyone has a decent and contented life”

Mission
“Fostering rational utilization of skills and manpower for sustainable development in both social and economic spheres as well as creating friendly environment in order to ensure diversity sources of income and improve livelihoods of communities.

Village of Hope (VOH) is a nonprofit organization that exists for the sole purpose of bringing hope to vulnerable children in Mwanza. They try to accomplish this by providing vulnerable children with shelter, education, healthcare and nutrition. They are currently serving over 300 children through their children’s home and school.

Vision
The vision of Village of Hope-Mwanza is that all children are loved and care for.

Mission
Village of Hope-Mwanza exists to bring lasting hope to the children at risk so they can embrace adulthood as independent and contributing members of the society.

Village of Hope-Mwanza came to exist due to stories of children, including abandonment and death of one or both parents. Many of the children were found abandoned in a certain area and brought to police and then to social welfare, which brought them to VOH. A few stories involve the death of both parents and family being unable to care for the child. In some cases the mother died at birth and no family was available.

Children are raised at the center until the age of 18 years, then released back to society to start independent life. It becomes a challenge for them to cope with community life, as some of them do not even know their relatives. They often have no life skills, apart from home-based education that they have received during years spent in VOH. 

New BSF!Each year, numbers of youth complete their secondary education with no hope for further studies, hence becoming a burden to society or engaging in adverse psychosocial behaviors.

Project Impact
More than 300 children living at Village of Hope-Mwanza and more than 30 workers employed with VOH will gain access ro safe and clean water. Trained youth will become employed, enabling them to earn income and  benefit the community.

Volunteer Directing Project
Julius Kenyamanyara

Monitoring and Maintenance 
Community Life Amelioration Organization (CLAO) in collaboration with Village of Hope-Mwanza (VOH) will monitor the progress of the project, whereby selected leaders from the group will collaborate on providing progress report and share groups information. 

Sustainability;

-Entrepreneurship and marketing skills will be taught as part of the training to provide members with techniques on selling of filters.

-VOH will be responsible to advertise, and find other donors to support the group.

-VOH should contact their partners to introduce them to the project hence more training is expected in the future in partnership with FWFW and CLAO.

Expected Outcomes:
Short-term

  • Equip group members with the knowledge and skills on fabrication and installation of bio sand water filter
  • Capacity building on water, hygiene and sanitation education to group members
  • Provision of safe and clean water to VOH community
  • Employment opportunity                                                                  

Long-term

  • Improve living standard of the group members and families in general
  • Reduction of water borne diseases as more people will be using bio sand water filters
  • Health improvement

Certificates Awarded
Village of Hope, Tanzania - Training Concluded!

The training was conducted and was a tremendous success.  Many filters were constructed and the knowledge that the certified trainees gained has already been passed along throughout the area.  The additional income generated for Village Of Hope is allowing them to expand their reach and aid even more children there.

A group of 28 people were trained: 24 youths, 2 teachers and, and 2 house women.
 

At the end of the training all the participants received a certificate, that prove their capability in making and maintaining the BioSand Water Filter as well as the basics of hygiene and sanitation.

 

Certificate awardedOutcomes:

- More than 300 beneficiaries in the Village of Hope center now have safe and clean drinking water, and the surrounding community also benefits from the project.  Members of the village of hope are designated to educate people on the importance of using safe clean water. This will also increase the sale of filters.

- Improvement of living standard of the group. The operation is making filters for the center and for the community. The BioSand filter is in high demand, and people buy them from the center.

- In a long run the center is projecting to be trained on the making of rainwater catchment system to have readily available source of water.

Up to date the group made and installed 139 filters. The center management has purchased 31 filters for all the workers at the center to be installed  in their households.  The center is proceeding to make filters for the surrounding community. The group has also recently received an order of 7 filters from the neighboring village of Bugarika.

The Village of Hope has a goal of making 200 filters by the end of the year, which will serve about 1,400 people.

​UPDATE:  They have already surpassed their goal, and continue to expand this very successful operation.  Who can say how many people will drink water free of microbes due to this project in the long run...

This project has been paid for through the generosity of an anonymous donor.

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Project : Base - Water Charity Partnership

Chamonix Wingsuit Brigade

PROJECT BASE H2O - Water Charity Partnership (& Peer To Peer Fundraising Challenge):

 

Meet wingsuit fliers Sam Hardy & Nate Jones: 

SamNate

 

These guys are the gravity defying BASE jumpers who comprise PROJECT BASE H2O. Sam, from England, and Nate, from Australia, are leading enthusiasts of a relatively new sport, a type of base jumping that uses "flying squirrel" type wingsuits to allow them to fly & glide through the air and perform aerial manoeuvres; human birds one could say.  As cool as that is, this isn't all they are up to.  They also do charity work!
 

As they globe trot and soar in far-flung locales, these rockstars actually take time to fund and implement water projects where they go.  We met them as they were doing a project in Ethiopia, where Water Charity was working as well, and we decided that working together would be a great idea.  We, as an established WASH development organization, can help them do bigger and more efficient projects, as well as handle the donations, leaving them to focus on what they do best... flying, and helping people in a spectacular fashion.  

 

Check out the video below to see the full story from Mission Ethiopia, where they were flying in Simien National Park.

On World Water Day - March 22nd 2015 - Sam and Nathan did the first ever wingsuit flight in The Simien Mountains National Park, while they were on their Project : BASE charity mission in Ethiopia. Sam and Nathan raised $11,000 to benefit the local communities near to the BASE jumping locations.  Their donations went towards building a new water well and refurbishment of an old water well in Miligebsa. They also built a new water well in the Amhara region that was completed in summer 2016, and delivered 20 "one world" footballs to 4 local schools, and furnished a satellite school with new school furniture.

Now, Water Charity and Project : Base are working together to create new projects for them to do.  We are planning to distribute and install high-quality water filters to the nearby villages when they fly in places with water issues.  This is an extension of Water Charity's very successful Filters for Life Program and is focusing on the Sawyer "dialysis style" water filters.  You can read about the technology on the Fitlters For Life page.  To support this work, use the DONATE button below, and give generously.  We will update this page with photos and footage as it comes in, as well as start new pages for the individual projects they undertake.

Access to clean, running water is something that most of us take for granted; and yet across the world, water-related diseases affect more than 1.5 billion people every year. The wings 4 water filter is able to clean over 1 thousand litres of water per day and a single filter can easily be shared between 4-6 households which has a lifespan of over 3.75 million litres when maintained. 
 

We will leave you with this stunning shot of Nathan coming in for the world's first human flight hi-five!  

Highest Hi 5 (Wingsuit)
Please check out their work and BASE jumping via :

www.projectbase.org
www.facebook.com/projectbasepage

While you can donate and help fundraise via the widget above, the main Fundraising Campaign Page can be found HERE (with Facebook comments, more P2P interaction and Social Media Share features)

​You can also donate via PayPal:

Project Base Wingsuit Night Flight

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Filters for Life Program – Worldwide

Filters for Life Program – Worldwide

The Filters For Life Program is Water Charity's flagship, worldwide endeavor to provide much-needed water filters for people around the world. With developments in filter technology over the last five years or so, we can now provide needy communities with long-lasting, effective water filters that can provide as much as 650 gallons of water a day each.  Point One bucket kitThese carbon nanotube filters are guaranteed to last for 1,000,000 gallons (and often last far longer with a modicum of maintenance)... and this technology allows for this at a very reasonable price.

The hollow membrane style (dialysis) filters offer a substantial improvement over the older biosand, ceramic, and activated charcoal filters we had been using.

They are small, light, and easily transported. Whereas, biosand filters are large and heavy.  The making of the various grades of sand, and the transportation of this heavy material accounted for a huge portion of the cost of a biosand installation.

The Sawyer filters we use are very durable and difficult to break... whereas the ceramic filters we had favored previously are notoriously prone to cracking, and thus eliminating their ability to protect people from pathogens.  They also had far slower flow rates, and could therefore serve less people per installation.

We are very excited about this program, which will include individual projects all over the world. The need for these filters is great, and there is almost no limit to the number of  filters we can distribute as the funds become available.

Taiphoon Haiyan Distribution
Keep in mind:

  • 80% of all disease is water-borne
  • 50% of all hospital beds worldwide are occupied by someone suffering from a water-related illness
  • Lack of clean drinking water kills more people globally than all forms of violence combined... including war.

There is no need for these statistics to be true anymore. We have all the tools we need to completely eliminate this suffering and waste of life. The predominant victims of this terrible situation are young children. Simple diarrhea is a leading killer of children under 5.  When it is so simple to prevent waterborne illness, there is no excuse for this. These kids deserve a chance.

As an addition to our current roster of successful programs in water and sanitation, which have included well drilling, rainwater catchment, toilet and hand-washing station construction, emergency relief, reforestation efforts and more--including a good number of filter projects--as well as our acclaimed Appropriate Projects initiative, this new program will be an umbrella for our worldwide push to get filters into the hands of those people who desperately need them. It includes most of the relevant projects, large and small... thus enabling people to donate to the overall effort.

For various reasons, some filter projects are tied into other initiatives or programs... generally where the filter installations are just a part of a larger effort.  Many rainwater catchment projects, for instance, have a filter component, but being that only a few filters are involved, and the larger part of the project are the gutters, the tanks and the distribution system... such projects don't technically fall under this program.

Water Drop WorldThe projects in this program, are larger distributions, and are upwardly scalable. As such, the more money we can raise, the more filters we can give out. Instead of creating and packaging the individual filter delivery projects one by one and funding them separately, it makes sense to raise as much money as possible and keep the filters flowing. In this way, we can also get larger grants from foundations and concerned organizations. We have hopes that, in time, this program can grow into one of the largest thing we have done.

For those interested in the filter technology we are presently using, please feel free to go to the Sawyer International website and peruse the relevant materials. We use primarily their Point One filter, but for hospitals, clinics and other sites we will also be making the Point Zero Two purifier available.  Both filters are engineered to have no holes large enough for even the smallest microbes to pass through. Point One = .1 micron engineering and Point Zero Two = .02 microns [note: The Point One is more than capable of handling the amoebas, cysts, bacteria, and protozoa that normally render water un-potable.]

This is an exciting program, and we hope you will see the need for it and join in. Water Charity is currently active in over 65 countries around the world. As the money comes in we will take the Filters For Life program into all of them and beyond.

If there are certain regions where you are especially interested in helping, it will be possible to donate specifically for those countries or areas. Just send us a message with your donation. However, we are hoping people will recognize that a general donation to the program itself will be the most effective way to get the maximum number of filters out in the shortest amount of time.

We are water... literally. The human body is about 70% water by mass, and a typical human cell is composed of 98.73% water molecules. Think about it.

CLICK HERE to see all the projects, or the links for the various individual projects in this program at the bottom of the page.

 

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Colombia Lifewater Project - Estacion Villa - Colombia

Colombia Lifewater Project - Estacion Villa - Colombia

This Colombia Lifewater Project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity, the National Peace Corps Association, and Superstar WC Volunteer RPCV Jeremy Mak.

Location
Estacion Villa, Colombia

village woman and waterCommunity Description
Estacion Villa, a small underserved community in Northeast Colombia located at N 10°17,794’ W 74°11.444’. The population is comprised of approximately 375 people from an estimated 45 households that straddle an unpaved dirt road located 35 kilometers from Fundacion Magdalena, the nearest town. Surrounding the village are ranches, but most of the families in the village itself are of modest means and extremely poor. The area was also terrorized and deeply affected by a 10-year period of violent occupation and abusive control by FARC guerrillas.

Signs of poverty are apparent in many forms in Estacion Villa. Several houses are of basic stick framing and mud houses, and some sleep as many as 8 to a room. Secondly, while there is electricity, most houses can afford only very dim ambient light and there is no running water or plumbing in the conventional sense. The majority of households rely on open wood fires for cooking. In terms of employment, several families are landless and struggle to find work. While there is a small primary school, there is little else in terms of public services, programs, or safety nets. Some households resort to temporary jobs on surrounding ranches or migrant work in places like Barranquilla or Fundacion.

POOR Water Quality of Estacion Villa, ColombiaProblem Addressed
One of the village’s biggest problems is water—both in terms of access and quality. Villagers drink contaminated rainwater, but when it is depleted, they rely on consuming unfiltered pond water. Rainwater is collected off corrugate metal roofs and stored in makeshift cisterns and storage containers, mostly located outside of the home. The government delivered 1,000-liter water tanks to households recently, but without proper training on how to install the tanks with fittings or how to correctly place, use, and maintain them, the tanks either are not being optimally utilized or not being used at all.

Moreover, due to their rudimentary design, homemade rainwater collection systems using these tanks and other containers lack “first flush” mechanisms that remove roof contaminants like dust, leaves, and bird droppings. Many water storage containers and tanks are uncovered and exposed to the elements, insects, and animals, further compromising the purity of rainwater with visible pollutants.

In 2006, the government dug an unlined catchment pond (the local names for pond arejaguey and represa) beside the village and installed a gravity-fed water system that delivers water to each house along the main road. The pond has a diameter of about 100 yards, but the depth and water catchment capacity is unknown. The pond--full of microorganisms, fish, and aquatic plants—is unfit for direct consumption. Cattle and roaming animals freely access it, and run-off from cow tracks drain into the pond.

An electric pump draws water up to an uncovered ferro-cement tank. A local told us that it holds 45,000 liters, but our estimate puts its max capacity closer to 10,000 liters, which is then gravity-fed to houses in the street below. The storage capacity of the central tank is relatively low compared to the approximately 45 houses it serves. In comparison, most homes have one or two 1,000 liter tanks.

The water system itself provides no filtration or disinfection/purification, and house pipes have no faucets, but rather are open-ended thin flexible hoses crudely connected to larger PVC feeder mains. The system’s pump is turned on every few days without pre-indication of time, and households must store water whenever it comes. The water that reaches homes has a brownish color to it, and sediment and organic bits of material is dispensed as well.

WATERING CROPSAt focus groups held with female heads of households, all mothers stated that they didn’t boil their water or otherwise filter it first, as no health authority has ever advised them to do so. (Secondly, boiling water would be incredibly labor intensive for those needing to collect firewood, or exorbitantly expensive for those households using gas stoves). Unfortunately, skin infections, hives, and stomach ailments attributed to the water are a widespread problem, which the community has largely been relegated to accepting as a fact of life.

When the jaguey dries up (as it does seasonally), the village relies on trucked water that is delivered at no cost by the government. This water comes from nearby towns of San Angel, Algarobo, Santa Rosa, and Fundacion, but villagers complain of the salty taste. They can buy more palatable river water, but each 40 liters cost 2,000 Colombian pesos (approximately USD 65 cents). Resorting to dirty pond water or trucked and bagged drinking water is becoming more of a constant reality as rains decline and when the jaguey dries. Especially over the past few months, a painful rain shortage has been felt.

Project Description
This project aims to provide all families in Estacion Villa with access to Sawyer Point One household filters, along with training required to install, use, and maintain them. Each filter is long-lasting, incredibly durable, and extremely effective at removing bacteria down to 0.1 microns—the same ones that cause dysentery, diarrhea, E. Coli, cholera, and typhoid. With proper care, they may never need to be replaced. You can see more information on these filters HERE.Assessing the situation

Following a house-to-house verification survey, and a mandatory two-hour long interactive training, we aim to distribute the filters along with hermetic water containers, solar lights, and mosquito nets.

Community Organization
Columbia Lifewater Project

Project Impact
It is anticipated that this project will serve up to an estimated 375 people with a durable solution to clean water for improved health outcomes.

RPCV Directing Project
Jeremy Mak

Monitoring and Maintenance
While the recipients of the filters, solar lamps, and mosquito nets will be responsible for their maintenance, Jeremy and his fiancé will be in contact with and check up on them.  As the villagers will be trained in proper upkeep (backflushing etc.) for their filters, it should be relatively problem-free for many, many years to come.

Comments
A comprehensive collection of pre-project photos can be found HERE.

This project is being led by Gambia RPCV Jeremy Mak, who has successfully completed several water and sanitation projects with Water Charity support over the past 6 years, including Sawyer filter distribution projects in Gambia (2015), and Uganda (2016). You can see previous examples of his Water Charity projects HERE (Gambia) and HERE (Uganda).  This is Jeremy’s first project for Water Charity in Columbia.  All 30 or so pages worth of Jeremy Mak projects can be perused by following this link: http://watercharity.com/Jeremy-Mak.

This project has been funded through the generosity of the Paul Bechtner Foundation.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE

Village Familia
Preparing FILTERS

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Palencia and Suchitepéquez Water Filter Project - Guatemala

Youth carrying water

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

Location

Potrero Grande, Marillanos, Tecomates, Joyas, Chorritos, Bejucalito, Anonos,Triunfo,Volcancito, El Esfuerzo, and Veracruz communities, Guatemala
To see the villages on a map, CLICK HEREwater

Community Description
The communities in this project are located in two municipalities: Palencia and San Juan Bautista (Suchitepéquez). While the communities are spread out geographically, they have many social and economic factors in common. They are rural communities, where the majority of families live in adobe homes with limited access to water or electricity. These are agricultural communities where many adults never graduated from primary school, instead working in the fields from a very young age. Some of this generation’s children are the first in their family to attend secondary school, although few do.

While the majority of these communities have a communal water source, it is often drawn straight from a well, spring or river and is contaminated. Water must be boiled, chlorinated or filtered before use; but because of the time and cost involved, these methods are not commonly practiced. Through informal conversations with community health workers, we know that the number one illness for which families seek treatment in these communities is diarrhea.

Problem Addressed
Access to clean water is a common problem in Guatemala, as in many developing countries around the world.  UNICEF reports that diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under 5 around the world, and that 6% of deaths each year in children under 5 years in Guatemala are due to diarrhea.

Village women preparing foodAccess to improved water sources and to improved sanitation have increased in Guatemala over the past few decades.  The country is now seen to be “on track” to meet the Millennium Development Goals 2000 - 2015 (MDG 2000 – 2015) water and sanitation targets, but rural areas still lag behind. As of 2012, 89% of the rural population has access to an improved water source, while 99% of urban populations do; the other 11% of rural populations still rely entirely on unprotected, or surface water sources such as open springs or rivers.

This is the case in El Volcancito, Palencia and El Esfuerzo, Suchitepéquez where community members carry water from uncovered springs where water gathers in an open pit in the ground, leaving it exposed to contamination. The rural/urban disparity is not unusual in the developing world; but points to an opportunity to increase investment in clean water in rural communities.

Of the 11 communities listed here, 5 child-feeding centers (45%) do not have an improved water sources. Furthermore, even when an "improved" water source does exist in Guatemala, it is often still contaminated and likely to make people sick. This is more so the case with travelers and children, whose immune systems are not used to the local microbes, but waterborne pathogens put a strain on everyone's health.

Project Description

With support from Water Charity, Feed the Children, Inc. will distribute 50 Sawyer filters in 10 different high-need rural communities, focusing on areas with high concentration of children such as schools, community feeding centers, and health centers. In each location, Feed the Children, Inc. will either identify an existing water committee or form a new one to take ongoing responsibility for the use and maintenance of the filters. Feed the Children, Inc. will train the committee on the simple maintenance procedure to keep the filters in optimal condition; and with the committee, carry out a series of educational activities using song, stories and drama to teach the local target population about the importance of drinking clean water. (These educational activities will be adapted from the Peace Corps’ “Healthy Schools” curriculum, developed and extensively field-tested by volunteers in Guatemala.)

Young girl carrying waterWater Charity has worked extensively with these Sawyer filters, and has even created an entire worldwide program to help distribute, install, and train people in their use. This project is part of this larger worldwide program.

The carbon nano-tube technology used in these filters has proven extremely effective and long-lasting. It has its roots in kidney dialysis machines, and the filters are engineered to have no holes larger than .1 micron... thus eliminating the possibility of any microbes passing through. These filters are guaranteed for one million gallons of clean water, with a very high flow through rate. In practice, the filters can last much longer with only a bit of rudimentary care, back-flushing them with a syringe like tool when they get clogged with sediment.

Project Impact
This project will impact approximately 3,850 people, primarily children.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Claire Mocha (who began working with FTC after serving as a PCV in Guatemala for 2 years)

Monitoring and Maintenance
Feed the Children, Inc. has an ongoing presence in each community, visiting at least twice a month.  Our field staff will train a group of responsible persons in each community to oversee the proper use and maintenance of the filters. In schools, this will likely be the existing cleaning committee of teachers and parents who already oversee the cleanliness of school grounds and facilities; in the feeding centers, several volunteer mothers will be chosen to be responsible for the filters. Sawyer Point ONE filters require very little in the way of maintenance, and have an average lifespan of up to 10 years; but Feed the Children, Inc. staff will be visiting the sites regularly to ensure that the filters are functional and being utilized.

Comments
Feed the Children, Inc. is partnering with teachers and parent committees in all of these communities, and the filters supplied by Water Charity will be installed in locations where FTC is already established with food programs and education. 

This project falls under our Filters For Life Program - Worldwide.

Dollar Amount of Project
$2,500
Donations Collected to Date
$2,500
Dollar Amount Needed

$0 - This project has been fully funded through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle, of Nelsonville, OH, USA.

Any additional donations will go toward future projects in Guatemala.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.

Young girl drinking from the streamwater jugs lined up

woman in the villageYoung girl getting water

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Sololá Water Filter Project, Phase 3 - Guatemala

Sololá Water Filter Project, Phase 3 - Guatemala

NPCA & WC LOGOSThis project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.
 

Location
Pahaj, Santa Lucia Utatlan, and San Juan la Laguna communities - Sololá, Guatemala

Community Description
Community group of mothersAll of the communities reside in Solola, the second poorest department of Guatemala, where 94% of the families live on less than $3.00 per day.

Problem Addressed
The water quality is rather poor in these villages, and waterborne illnesses are widespread.

Water Charity has had 91 Sawyer water filters installed in the region since 2014, through Mil Milagros (NGO run by RPCV and WC alum).  These filters are now being utilized in 45 classrooms, five school kitchens, and 41 homes.  Mil Milagros has monitored the use of the filters through weekly visits to the schools and continued follow-up with the families.  The children have asked for water filters for their homes because they are now drinking water at school and want to be able to do so at home as well.

The mothers have asked for the filters because they have learned through Mil Milagros' training that they need to ensure that their children are as healthy as possible.  Sources estimate that 90-95% of the water in Guatemala is contaminated.  So, while the mothers have learned that water is the best thing to give their children to drink, they don't have a source of clean water in their homes, and water can often be more expensive than sugary drinks.  One mother leader mentioned, "My children are asking for water at home instead of 'fresco' (a sugary fruit drink), and I want to be able to give it to them, but there isn't anywhere near my house to get water."

Project Description
50 Sawyer water filters will be installed in the homes of "mother leaders" in the three communities. 

Mil Milagros will distribute the filters to leaders of its early childhood nutrition, school nutrition, and health and hygiene commissions, as well as give a demonstration on the correct installation and use of the filters.  The coordinators will then follow up with mother leaders to ensure proper maintenance and use long term.

Project Impact
300+ people will benefit directly.  Friends, neighbors and visitors to these homes, will also enjoy access to clean, safe drinking water.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Carolyn Daly

Family membersMonitoring and Maintenance
Mil Milagros (1,000 Miracles) is the NGO in Sololâ that Carolyn runs, and they will monitor the success of this project.

Comments
This is Carolyn's 4th project with Water Charity.  As mentioned above, this project is a continuation of the work done in the first 3 projects, and it builds upon the successes they achieved.  This project falls under the Filters for Life Program – Worldwide which Water Charity enacted to help spread the Sawyer, carbon nanotube filter technology to people in need. We are happy to support the fine work that Carolyn is doing in this region.

To read about the previous projects Carolyn has done with us, click the following links:

Links to the conclusions of these fine projects can be found at the end of their project pages.

Dollar Amount of Project
$2,500

Donations Collected to Date
$2,500

Dollar Amount Needed

$0.00 - This project has been fully funded through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle of Nelsonville, OH, USA.

 

Any additional donations will go to future projects in Guatemala.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE


Community meeting
 

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Conclusion of Earthquake Relief & Water Filter Project - Nepal

Damaged Statue in Nepal

This project has been completed under the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association, in association with our friends Wine To Water.

To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

Destruction in Nepal's Kathmandu ValleyIn response to the earthquakes that devastated Nepal in April and May, 2015, Water Charity and Wine To Water have partnered to support the people affected by these events with clean water.  Sawyer filters and water holding buckets were procured to enable victims of the destruction to have access to clean water.
 
The need and urgency of this relief cannot be overstated. More than 3 million people in Nepal lack access to clean water and sanitation due to infrastructure and homes being completely destroyed throughout much of the country. So, in addition to dealing with the magnitude of the destruction of the earthquake, and the pending monsoon season in a couple of weeks which will make living conditions much worse for many, the lack of clean water will compound these problems with an increase in water-borne illnesses.
 
In an effort to make the highest impact possible, water filters were distributed to the following territories within Kathmandu Valley. Upon the original site assessment of each territory, a local community leader was chosen and trained on program management. This step has proven to be very helpful as these community leaders have ensured the proper care and use of the filter over the weeks following the distribution.
 
Wine To Water’s CEO, David Cuthbert, joined the ground team to do site visits and assessments on these locations and are pleased to report nearly 100% adoption of the use of the filters in the field. It is clear and extremely evident that they are greatly appreciated by the recipients and highly helpful during this difficult time.
 

A very thirsty man using the Sawyer filter

Location 1: Kavreshtali, Ward 5 and Phutung District
 
In this rural area 3.5 KM north of Kathmandu, 110 filters were distributed thus far. Many more filters are needed to cover more of the population but over 2500 people are using the filters within these areas. The community leader, Nirmal Lama, is overseeing the maintenance and use of the filters by the population. In this area, 275 homes were totally or partially destroyed of the 490 that existed there.
 
Location 2: Sangla Club, Ward 3
 
In Sangla Club, 60 Sawyer filters were distributed for the benefit of 1,200 people who live here. The earthquake nearly leveled every home in this area as 240 were totally destroyed of the 268 that once covered the area. People are now living in tents or temporary shelters in this area. Community leader Saraswati Joshi is overseeing the local filter operation.
 
Location 3: Darmashtali
 
In Darmashtali, 35 filters have been set up in community hubs and are being used by 1,200 people. Spring water has been contaminated due to the earthquakes destruction but is still accessible in the community. Filters are being used at these stations to clean water for drinking, bathing, and food preparation. Filter maintenance and management is being done by two young leaders, Ajit Shahi and Shyam Dongol.
 
Darmashtali, a village rich in Nepali heritage, culture and community, has seen 90% of its homes destroyed and personal items totally lost. In many ways, they are starting over. As we visited the community on June 4th, 2015, it was evident that the entire community was coming together as best as possible to build temporary shelters in advance of monsoon season in June. The town is made up of many tradespeople and skilled labor workers.
 
Although some progress has been made and the water situation has improved, food shortages were obviously still a very large issue. In visiting one of the houses this week, David witnessed a woman cleaning mud off of scattered rice that was buried under the rubble of what was once her home.
 
The partnership between Water Charity and Wine To Water has directly contributed to provide clean water for thousands of folks in desperate need throughout Nepal.
 

We would like to thank David Cuthbert and Kyle Lomax once again for their work on this much needed project. 

This project falls under our ongoing Filters For Life Program - Worldwide,

 

While the work in Nepal has moved from disaster relief to development, there is still a tremendous need for clean water.  We will continue this successful project as long as we receive funds to pay for the installation of filters in areas that were hit by the earthquake. 

Broken water faucet basinsSite assesmentDestroyed homeDestruction in Nepal ... unpotable water.Filter InstallationDestroyed building

 

Conclusion of Niamina Water Filter Project - The Gambia

Recipients in the community of Borehole

This project has been completed under the direction of RPCV Jeremy Mak. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

This project was designed to secure access to clean drinking water for small, underserved satellite villages in Gambia’s Niamina East District, all of whom rely exclusively on dirty, open wells due to handpump failure or absence. Although the beneficiary communities shifted over time, the result was another remarkable success.
Sinchu Open Well

Jeremy writes:
 
“Through support from Water Charity at the National Peace Corps Association, we distributed Sawyer Point One household water filters to each compound in the 5 villages of Borehole, Si Kunda, Modikaya, Colley Kunda, and Sinchu Al-Haggi.
 
In total, this initiative reached approximately 648 people, restoring clean drinking water to 3 communities, and bringing clean water for the first time to 2 additional villages.

Before the distribution of Sawyer filters, each community was resigned to resort to drinking directly from open wells, sources of potentially fatal waterborne diseases like dysentery and diarrhea. Simple, effective, and long-lasting solutions to filtering water and preventing such illnesses—such as the Sawyer Filter—are game changers for poor, remote communities like these.

It was originally envisaged to pilot only 3 to 4 filters in four villages on a trial basis. However, due to overwhelming need and high interest/demand registered in our survey trips, we supplied every compound in 5 villages with at least one, giving villagers a much healthier, preferential option to drinking open well water. 50 filters were distributed across the communities of Borehole (5 filters to 5 families in 3 compounds), Si Kunda (20 filters to 20 compounds), Modikaya (8 filters to 8 compounds), Colley Kunda (6 filters to 6 compounds, 2 filters to a Koranic school), and Sinchu Al-Haggi (9 filters to 9 compounds). 

Survey and distribution activities took a total of 5 days. At first, it was planned to also distribute filters to Kalikajara village, but upon inspection, we found it technically feasible to rehabilitate Kalikajara’s lined, open well through chlorination and installation of two new Bluepump handpumps. Papa and Sinchu Yerro were also shortlisted for possible Sawyer distributions, but we had to prioritize 

Colley Kunda Open Well

communities by geographic clustering due to the limited supply of filters and time and transport constraints. Papa and Sinchu Yerro will be among villages considered for follow-up distributions in the future. 

In each beneficiary community, villagers self-selected a designated female lead from each compound to be responsible for the filters in their care. We taught villagers how to assemble, ​use, clean, and care for the Sawyer filters, making sure that they understood that with responsible care, the filters could serve them for decades. Pictures of the filter distributions from Borehole and Si Kunda can be seen here. Pictures of filter distributions from Modikaya, Colley Kunda, and Sinchu-Al Haggi can be viewed here.

A short description of each community is below, along with embedded links to videos of open wells and filter/taste test demonstrations and distributions:
 

Borehole Assembly

Borehole is a very small community of only 3 compounds/46 people. They draw water from a hand-dug, open well, and drink the dirty water straight. The well is roughly lined with loose rocks and structurally unsound for a handpump. See what it’s like for Borehole residents to fetch water here and here
 
The Sawyer filters have brought clean water to Borehole for the first time ever!

Si Kunda—a community of 20 compounds/272 people— had two Mark II handpumps installed on a covered well in 2005. However, the pumps experienced problems 7 years ago. An unscrupulous local well mechanic pulled everything out, promising to bring new pipes and parts, but absconded with the old pump components instead. The community, relying only on a single open well for their needs and their cattle's water needs, opened the closed well 4 years ago. Before receiving Sawyer water filters through this distribution here, the village drank directly from these two open wells you can see here and here.

Borehole Open WellDue to a lack of parts and pedestals, neither pump repairs nor a Bluepump installation were immediately possible.

Modikaya, a small village of 8 compounds and 103 people, had a working Mark II pump, which failed on them. We attempted to fix it in 2013, but upon pulling out the pipes, discovered that the pumping cylinder was Dutch, contrary to its German pump head markings—unlike the German Mark II cylinders, Dutch cylinders cannot be repaired once they wear out—they are ‘one and done.’ We found out, since then, the village has sold all their old pump parts, including the pump pedestal, a critical piece of the old pump infrastructure that we need in order to set the concrete foundation for a new Bluepump. Without the pedestal, it takes many days longer for the concrete foundation to dry for optimal strength, time we unfortunately couldn’t wait due to our tight work schedule and competing water project priorities. Before our distribution of filters here, they relied on drinking from their open well here

Colley Kunda, a village of 6 compounds and a Koranic school (106 residents) has similarly suffered for years due to their two Dutch Mark II pumps falling into disrepair. They have been drinking out of an open well for more than 13 years. See our filter distribution and the open well in Colley Kunda here.

Lastly, before receiving Sawyer filters here, Sinchu Al-Haggi, a village of 9 compounds and 121 residents relied exclusively on drinking straight from these  2 open wells.

Thanks again to Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association for making waterborne diseases a thing of the past for these communities!”
 

We would like to thank Jeremy yet again for executing such a fine project, another in a long list of amazing projects he has done with us as both PCV and RPCV.   And, we would also like to thank Gamrupa Danmark for adopting this great project. 

This project falls under our ongoing Filters For Life Program - Worldwide.

Borehole Dirty vs. Clean WaterSinchu A Open Well

Colley Kunda WomenColley Kunda Koranic Teacher

Modikaya CleaningModikaya Community

Modikaya Open WellSinchu A Women

Sinchu A AssemblyColley Kunda Assembly

Si Kunda AssemblySi Kunda Mambiray

Si Kunda Testing

Earthquake Relief & Water Filter Project - Nepal

Man sobs at the ruination of his temple in Nepal, after the earthquake

NPCA & WC LOGOSThis project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the National Peace Corps Association.


After the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal, Water Charity immediately began to try and find ways to help.  Potable water is always a valuable and important commodity after a disaster, so we decided to jump in and send high quality, effective water filters to aid in the relief effort.  Using Sawyer filters, which comprise the backbone of our Filters For Life Program, we joined together with a few of our friends to send 1,000 filters to be installed in refugee camps, hospitals, community centers and schools around the hardest hit areas.

Nepalese First Responders on the sceneWorking together with our friends, fellow non-profit Wine2Water, installation of these filters began immediately in the days after the first earthquake, and will provide clean drinking water for as many as a hundred thousand people.  We hope that with all the problems the Nepalese refugees have to deal with, that safe, clean drinking water will cease to be one of them.

The earthquake that hit on the 25th of April, and a second major tremor on May 12th, killed more than 8,600 people and brought down buildings in Kathmandu and the country's central districts.  More than 8,000 people died in the disaster and many remain homeless. This disaster is said to affect over 8 million people in the region of Kathmandu. 

This project falls under our ongoing Filters For Life Program - Worldwide, in which we are trying to make sure these high quality Sawyer filters make their way into as many hands as humanly possible.  While not as flashy as drilling wells, water filters are probably the single most effective way to prevent death and unnecessary suffereing due to unpotable drinking water (the leading cause of preventable death worldwide).

In disaster situations, having access to clean, potable drinking water is generally the first priority.  Long before the food runs out, thirsty people are forced to scavenge for a source of water, which will generally prove unealthy and waterborne illnesses are known to run rampant in refugee camps where proper filtration, or at least some little bit of bleach, is not being used to clean the water. 


Water Charity, in concert with the NPCA, paid for this project out of pocket, and is asking donors to contribute to this effort by helping us recoup the funds we have already spent, enabling us to expand the relief effort.  All money raised in excess of the current cost of the project will go to further relief efforts in Nepal.

Fundraising Goal
$6,500

 

This project has been completed.  To see the results, CLICK HERE.

While the work in Nepal has moved from disaster relief to development, there is still a tremendous need for clean water.  We would like to continue this successful project, and ramp up filter installations in the affected regions of Nepal.  Please consider donating to this effort to allow us to implement a Phase 2 and help even more people. 


Water Charity is proud to be among the first groups to get tangible help on the ground in emergencies like this one, and the typhoon Haiyan earlier where we engaged in a similar series of projects to help survivors.

Refugees in a ruined square

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Niamina Water Filter Project - The Gambia

Niamina Water Filter Distribution Pilot Project - The Gambia

NPCA & WC LOGOSThis project is made possible through the collaboration of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

Location
Niamina Dankunku and Niamina West Districts, Central River Region--South, The Gambia

Community Description
Remote, rural villages along the river that are all struggling with clean water access, and the related health issues.Kalikajara Village, The Gambia

Problem Addressed
Many of these rural villages struggle with clean water access. For numerous communities, the government installed handpumps in the 1990s.  However, due to low capacity to maintain or repair these pumps, many of them are breaking and broken. This leaves women and girls,those traditionally responsible for collecting water, with little choice but to walk farther in search of working water points.

However, some communities have no option but to resort to pulling out broken pumps and turning protected wells into open wells.  Villagers using ropes and buckets to draw water are at high risk of contaminating their water sources and spreading debilitating waterborne diseases like dysentery and diarrhea.

In addition, when pumps are dismantled, handpump components commonly go missing or are stolen and concrete slabs are broken and damaged, leaving no possibility of fixing them. Similarly, some villages have never benefited from drinking from protected wells, and instead have relied on open wells for generations.  Locally dug open wells are not only sources of dirty water, but also physically unsafe and pose a safety hazard for the very children and women who use them. 

Project Description
There are at least 5 villages in the Gambia Lifewater Project's (GLP) program area that currently rely on open wells for their drinking water. (e.g. Si Kunda, Kalikajara, Borehole, Colley Kunda, Modikaya). 3 additional villages have functioning handpumps, but have water quality/taste issues. GLP proposes to pilot the use of Sawyer Point One filters for at least 4 of these villages, improving the health for approximately 1,000 people. Filters will be communally owned by the village but individual households where they are installed will be responsible for caring for them. 

A total of 50 Point One filters will make up this project.   3-5 Sawyer filters will be installed in each village at the household level to provide clean water for the whole community and evaluate local reception of the new water filtration technology for potential future distribution. Water Charity proposes to conduct a series of 3-4 trips to each village. 
 
  • The first will re-assess the water situation, sensitize the village, and demonstrate the use of the Sawyer water filter, and ask the village to choose 3-5 households to pilot the filter. Careful attention will go towards placement of the filters so that they will be evenly dispersed throughout the village and not concentrated in one area. 
  • The second (ideally 1-3 days later) will re-visit the village and assess the proper placement and waterproofness of the material of the pedestal on which the Sawyer filter and bucket will rest. WC will also if there is an opportunity to install a larger capacity bucket/water container with multiple filter outlets.
  • The third trip will involve installing Sawyer filters with appropriate-sized food grade buckets and handing them over to households, along with instructions. Special care will be placed on showing responsible households how to care for and maintain/backflush the filters.
  • The fourth trip (if possible) will monitor usage of the filters and troubleshoot any issues for immediate attention and for future planning.
Si Kunda Village, The GambiaProject Impact
It is envisaged that the whole roll out for 4 villages will take up to two weeks to implement once initiated. Again, this project is expected to benefit up to 1,000 women, children, and men. This is part of Water Charity's ongoing FIlters For Life Program - Worldwide, and this filtration component will complement The Gambia Lifewater Project's ongoing pump repair and installation works and general hygiene and sanitation improvement projects.

To date, GLP and Water Charity have rehabilitated or installed 40 pumps in 26 villages in Niamina West and Niamina Dankunku, benefitting more than 14,000 local Gambians with improved clean water access. 
 

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Jeremy Mak, a member of the National Peace Corps Association and the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Los Angeles.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The Villages will be responsible for the maintenance of their filters.  Additionally, local GLP and PCV workers will be able to monitor the success of the project, as well as contact us at Water Charity to expand filter distribution as needed.

Comments
Jeremy has done a large number of projects with Water Charity.  Starting as a PCV, then as an RPCV, and including quite a few ambitious programs to repair or provide new pumps in communities where their old pumps had ceased functioning.  Water Charity has funded these Gambia Lifewater Pump projects readily, and will continue to work with Jeremy through a new round of pump and filter projects.  To see a complete list of projects that Jeremy has worked on with Water Charity, CLICK HERE.  In fact, while doing this water filter installation project, Jeremy was simultaneously doing a well handpump installation project in 5 nearby villages!  This project can be seen HERE.

Dollar Amount of Project
$2,800

Donations Collected to Date
$2,800

Dollar Amount Needed
$0 - This project has been fully funded through the generosity of Gamrupa Danmark.

This project has been completed!  To see the results, CLICK HERE.

 

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Funds Needed : 
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