In sub-Saharan West Africa about 250,000 children under the age of 5 die each year die from diseases that we in the West would think as 'minor' - many caused as a result of drinking water that is contaminated by bacteria. Children suffering from diarrhoeal illnesses cannot go to school and parents cannot go to work so that the health of the whole family is impacted. In our pilot project in Kodeni School we saw diarrhoea and vomiting reduced to zero within 2 weeks of introducing the filters to the families of those attending school. Success!
Drilling wells helps greatly to provide a community with a clean source of water but villages cover a wide area and for many it is easier to drink water from shallow hand dug wells than it is to get the water from a clean source.
Sawyer provide a low cost solution to this problem using a small filter that is based on dialysis technology. Particles as small as 0.02 microns in size (that's smaller than the size of harmful bacteria) are removed from water and can provide up to 170 litres of clean water per day for many years before needing to be replaced. By using a simple gravitational system that drains dirty water from one bucket into a lower clean water bucket, water is purified to a level greater than found in tap water in the UK or USA.
For £25 we can provide a filter, two buckets and the connection tubes needed, as well as providing employment for a local trainer who ensures the filters are being used and maintained correctly.
Having proven the effectiveness of the filter through a small school project we are now introducing the filters to a tribe in the South West of Burkina Faso known as the Ble (pronounced "Bl-ay"). This is one of the smallest tribes in the country with something like 300 families and 1600 people in total - too small for Google maps!. We have sent the first batch of water filters to them and have started training locally with impressive initial results. The next batch of filters arrives in February 2019 and will enable every family of the Ble tribe to have clean water.
If you would like to help provide clean water for one family for a whole a generation click here for more information