Assessing the impact of our water filter project
Over the past few years, the BI has worked with the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial) and DrinC (manufacturers of the Nazava-style water filter – see Water Filter Blog of 2014/05) in the development of a cost-effective water filter for use in rural households without access to potable water. We tested different options with 40 households in our area, in partnership with the CSIR, about 2 years ago and settled on one with an enclosed bucket system and a tap which proved popular with households. A year later, municipal water pipes were installed in our area, with each homestead having access to a tap within 200m. We then decided to test the filters further in another community that was yet to have access to drinkable water and in April last year, we rolled out 150 water filter systems in Hobeni Village. The next step was to collect data on the results of the usage for this larger sample to determine whether or not we were on the right track.
Two volunteers, Liesl and Tineke assisted us and collected the data on how the households we using the filter systems and tested the quality of the water in use. The water used by the community was sourced mostly from local groundwater springs. The results of the data were disappointing and showed that households were not cleaning the buckets that contain the water properly. We realised that we need to improve our training workshops on the correct cleaning methods. We are planning to do this in April and plan to do the follow up survey to measure our work at the beginning of 2016. We still believe that these filters can be a good solution for communities without access to drinking water, we just have to get the implementation right…we’re getting there!