This week we had the privilege of hosting a team of students from Greenpoint College, Australia. I always enjoy having visitors, but this week gave me a fresh look at the people we are helping through the eyes of those who have never seen it before. It also gave me some time to test out our new camera. The following pictures are from visits to a couple of the projects I manage: Water for Kids and Water for Families - BioSand Filter.
On Friday, we took them to visit the Water for Kids project at one of the primary schools where we provided clean water supply, water filters, and toilets in 2013. It's amazing seeing the difference from what the school was like last year to now. Before this year, the students typically would scoop out water from a dirty pond to drink when they were thirsty. As a result, they were often getting sick and missing school. They also had no toilets to use at the school, making the area smelly and unsanitary.
Thanks to the team and our supporters, 460 students at this school now have a toilet to use and are enjoying clean, safe water. Their health is better now they are able to attend school more often. The principal told me, "The number of students here has increased by 25% because more and more parents want their children to go to a school that will improve their health and not make them sick."
Saturday, we took the team to a village where our Water for Families project is installing water filters for households that also are struggling to obtain clean water. The team had a blast learning the more technical process of setting up a new filter and seeing the results. For those who don't know, a BioSand Filter (BSF) is a low cost means of water treatment. The BSF is easy to produce with locally available materials - concrete, sand and PVC pipe. For more technical info on the BSF see the following link.
When installing the BSF it is important that our staff check that the sand is properly compacted, cleaned and disinfected prior to use. SP field staff go to house of every beneficiary to train them how to set up, use and maintain the BSF. Since this is a new technology for most people, proper usage is critical to its ability to treat water. To ensure people are satisfied with the filter staff also continue to follow up with each household at least 4 times and up to one year after it is installed.