Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bio Sand Water Filters ARE Improving the Lives of 400 Families

A few weeks ago, I tagged along with Shri Nityananda Education Trust Field Manager, Pervaz Kazi, as he interviewed twenty families within Nimboli village who had received SNET Bio Sand Water-filters nearly a year ago. The overall response was extreme satisfaction with how the water filter not only improved the families’ health, but also improved the taste of their daily drinking water. See how happy these women are with their "best friend."

Prior to receiving the SNET water filter, they walked to the end of their street where there is a government installed well. Unfortunately, the engineers located it directly in the path of water drainage system. Hence, the water is most often dirty. Secondarily, the well water is hot because Nimboli is situated amidst geo thermal activity. Over and over, we heard the recipients of the SNET water filter say they “liked how the water was clean and cool.” Many of them commented that they now bring their own filtered water with them to work, to school, and on any outings away from the home. They don’t believe they can get such cool clean water anywhere else, except to pay for bottled water.

The major sentiment of the women interviewed was relief in seeing their families healthy. Many families reported an almost total disappearance of illnesses caused by water born organisms, such as diarrhea, cholera, skin infections. Common colds and flu had lessened, as well.

What was surprising was to learn how often the recipients cleaned their filter. Some followed their instructions and cleaned them monthly. But some householders could taste the difference in the water after being cleaned and so cleaned the filter more often. The majority cleaned about every week or every other week, but one lady literally cleaned hers daily because she could taste the difference. Others cleaned theirs every few days.

Almost all of the filters were situated in a prominent place in the family’s home, be it in the kitchen, or on the back porch. Most people were very emphatic about the rewards of the water filer and expressed their deep appreciation for the improvement in the quality of their lives.

Of the twenty families we visited, only one person believed the filter to be malfunctioning even thought she cleaned it. Another man said his fell over ten days prior, but the amount of plant growth that had grown up onto it showed that it was probably not being used for over a month. He said he was not strong enough to put the filter up right and would need SNET’s help to get it functioning again. Both of these families were reported to the installer for maintenance.

Every week I meet people on the streets of surrounding areas who yet don’t have their own SNET water filter. I feel sad to tell them that we don’t quite have enough money yet to deliver water filters to their village. They hear of neighbors who do have one, and wish to receive the life changing benefits for their own family. I wish we could provide all the families here in the Tansa Valley with their own water filter.

Some of the other villages rely on river water for their household supply. This is contaminated by human and animal excrement up stream and is extremely dangerous to their health. Now some of those families have the benefit of cleaning the water with SNET water filter.

Read more about SNET projects in rural India.

Your donations go directly to providing new water filters to village families in need of clean water. $25 covers the cost of building and installing a life time water filter.
Jeanetta Monosoff Haley

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