What’s a Biosand Filter?

September was a busy month for the Malawi Water Project and because it was so busy, I decided to take a second trip this year to lend a hand.

From September 4th to the 13th we held a training session at our new factory in the South. There were 22 eager participants who learned all about construction and maintenance of the biosand filter and all about how to teach proper sanitation and hygiene to villagers in their communities. The training was a refresher course for our existing staff and  new training for others. Everyone was completely engaged the whole time. Our trainers, Tauzen and Gladys, from the Zambia CAWST Water Expertise and Training Centre did a great job keeping everyone interested. Role playing was an important part of the learning experience.

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Learning about the technical aspects of the filter and the correct way to prepare the sand and gravel was a steep learning curve for the new participants.

IMG_3460Organizing the training was not an easy task and Sarah did a great job with a little help from her friends. IMG_3410

After 5 years, we have finally been able to purchase our own vehicle. Her name is Heidi and she is a 2004 Toyota Hilux.  This is Sarah’s special place to view the African sunset and to unwind after a demanding week.

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On a sad note, there have been several villages near our factory experiencing an outbreak of cholera. Doctors Without Borders have arrived and have set up a tent outside of the hospital so that patients are treated in the tent rather than putting patients in the hospital at risk.  The doctors are working non-stop to contain the outbreak.

We are working hard to provide a long term solution by providing household water treatment and by teaching proper sanitation and hygiene.  A success story is the village of Chiromo 2. This village used to experience outbreaks of cholera on a regular basis. After incorporating our instructions on proper sanitation and hygiene and after installing filters in the village, there has not been a case of cholera since 2014.

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These filters are in the process of being constructed. They would not be here without your help. Which one is yours?

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