Wednesday, November 13, 2013
“Five million people die unnecessarily each year because of illness related to lack of potable water. Half of them are children under the age of five. To bring it home, think about this: one child dies from lack of clean water every twelve seconds.” ― Thomas M. Kostigen
We have been working with biosand filters for seven years since Jerry Buckingham brought the technology, know-how, and drive to get the molds made and to start producing filters. We thought it would take off, overwhelm us, and a local Tanzanian would make it into a huge business. This hasn't happened. We trained one young man for two years, but he ran off, got married, got divorced and we haven't seen him since. In the meantime, we have been placing filters a few at a time in orphanages, vocational schools, teachers colleges, hospitals, private homes, churches, and the occasional government official. An order for ten or more is a rarity, but in the last two years we have had orders for twenty, thirty, and now fifty at a time. The Member of Parliament in Musoma wants to put biosand filters in every school in Musoma (over 70 filters) but has yet to get it into the budget. A Rotary Club in the U.K. has ordered fifty with the Rotary logo on them to go into the schools in the town of Nansio on the island of Ukewere about 100 kilometers due west of us. There is a ferry to carry cars, trucks, and people over to the island. The filters are all finished and Karen has seen to it that instructions in color pictures have been laminated and attached to each filter with a zip-tie so whoever uses the filter will know how. The truck is here today to be loaded and tomorrow will make the trip to Nansio where a team from the U.K. is waiting. Shaban will go on Friday to start a five-day training mission to go from school to school teaching about the care, use, and maintenance of the filters. The Rotary club paid for all the filters, and we are paying for the transportation as part of our mission here. The team is supposed to pay Shaban for his time and lodging, but we have given him enough money to cover it in case they don't. There will be press involved with this and perhaps other Rotary clubs will also want to be involved with this much needed clean water project (see above quote). This puts us over the three-hundred mark of filters placed, providing clean, safe drinking water for over 12,000 Tanzanians (and quite a few missionaries from America and Australia as well). If you want to help, each filter costs $50 USD, and we will be happy to work with you to place them where you would like them to go. Giving children clean water to drink is a good thing, a God thing. Join us.