HEALTH EDUCATION AND WATER HYGIENE
In India, diarrhea alone causes more than 1,600 deaths daily. Lack of pure drinking water is a major cause of waterborne diseases. TMA is working on a solution…a solution that is inexpensive and easy to implement.
For residents around Nimboli, India (Thane District), obtaining drinking water from piped-in sources is unreliable at best. Because of this, villagers draw most of their water from a river and contaminated wells. Consequently, waterborne diseases such as diarrhea run rampant throughout the countryside.
In response to this problem, TMA implemented a two-pronged water purification project including:
- Distribution of Biosand Water Filters at no cost to recipients.
- Education on the importance of pure water, good hygiene and proper water storage.
The Biosand Water Filter is simply a concrete container, enclosing layers of sand and gravel which trap and eliminate sediments, pathogens and other impurities from the water. This filter was selected because it is relatively inexpensive to construct, costs nothing to operate and is simple to maintain. Most important, it is highly effective at eliminating water impurities. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown that the Biosand filter can reduce the incidence of diarrhea by up to 40 percent (read the article here).
In the fall of 2006, TMA purchased three water filter molds and hired local residents to make the filters, install them in homes, and provide on-going maintenance. An educational program on the value of pure drinking water, safe water storage, and the practice of sanitary habits went hand-in-hand with the filter distribution.
By August of 2011, over 1,000 filters had been manufactured and distributed in the area around Nimboli, India. The response from villagers has been incredibly positive. After distributing the first 70 water filters, TMA went back to recipients to learn how things were going. Using an oral questionnaire, research staff discovered that recipients were not only using the filters, but they had experienced a significant drop in waterborne diseases such as fever, dysentery and diarrhea. Members of the village who had not received filters were asking for them. As one householder put it,
“Filter is like weapon to fight against water borne diseases.”
Help keep this program alive! Your donation of only $25 will purchase one water filter that will provide pure water to an Indian family indefinitely. DONATE NOW to make your contribution!