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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

India – Clean water and improved health through biosand filters

India has the highest number of people in the world that lack access to clean water.

In Dindigul district of Tamilnadu State, women struggle to access safe drinking water for their families as they rely on unprotected sources of water (rivers, streams) or leaky water supply pipes that are prone to contamination. Consumption of dirty water results in sick family members; dirty water causes waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, and cholera, ultimately wasting time and energy of all family members.

All this is changing through the construction of simple biosand filters, which provide women with access to clean water. Biosand filters are a simple household water treatment device. Biosand filters remove pathogens and suspended solids from water using biological and physical processes in a sand column covered with a biofilm.

Through the support of HOPE International Development Agency donors, women receive a biosand filter, as well as training in use and maintenance of the filters, and training in basic health and sanitation. To encourage active ownership of each family of the filters, each family contributes 20% of the cost of constructing the water filter.

Mrs. T. Kavitha and her story of success

My husband is working as daily wage labour in a shop at a neighbouring town. We have two children and I work at home to care for the family.

Recently, I joined a self-help group in Kannivadi village, where together as women we learn how to increase our income and savings, and where we support each other to build better livelihoods for our families.

Through a program with my self-help group, I have been able to access a biosand filter in our house for our family. When I first saw the filter I was doubtful of how useful it would be. However once I received the training and we started using the filter, I noticed decrease sickness in my children. The water from the filter is cool, clean and safe for us to drink. In our family we like this filter very much and we are so happy to be able to use it.