Plowing time in Mante Garira is thirsty work!
Over the past few months Desert Rose Consultancy have been working with Oxfam Intermon and Acts of Compassion to bring biosand filters and clean water to these rural areas some 20km (12 miles) from Sodo town in Ethiopia.
Not 100kg concrete biosand filters transported by NGO trucks though …..
Thanks to Desert Rose’s 23kg “Sandstorm” design, the community are far more involved than that. A few weeks ago the hillsides buzzed festively as the community suspended work in the fields to get filters manufactured in their own village to the homes where they were needed. Many of the filters were transported to by local donkey carts, mostly accompanied by a trailing entourage of children shouting encouragement.
Some were transported by local wooden wheelbarrow and at least one was spotted on a motorcycle (please do not try any of this at home with a concrete biosand filter!).
This is action research funded by Oxfam GB. The aim is to research combining biosand filters with a locally produced water purification agent which literally “grows on trees”. The project aims to “clarify” (sorry!) what the minimum effective dose of powdered Moringa Oleifera seeds is, and also compare the difference in water quality between families that use one or both treatment techniques. At the same time Oxfam are facilitating an Ethiopian student to study of the chemical and biological properties of the seeds as a water treatment at Lancaster University in UK.
Once installed the filters quickly gain pride of place in the modest but beautifully decorated homes.
It’s been humbling to experience this community literally dancing in the streets at the arrival of their water filters. The project will hopefully play an important role in us all learning how to better serve other families whose only option was to drink muddy river water.