Dirty water clouds chances for developing world’s survival–Christians launch response.

By October 30, 2006

International (MNN)–Two out of every six people in the world don’t have access to clean water. Health awareness in developed areas and advanced water and sewage treatment practices have largely eliminated diseases like Cholera, Typhoid, and Dysentery.

But in rural Third World areas, water rife with disease-carrying organisms is still linked to bacterial, parasitic and other waterborne diseases.

International Aid’s Myles Fish says they’ve been offering concrete BioSand water filters to address that problem. The concrete filters though, are heavy and, because of their size, fewer can be packed on a sea container.

That’s why they’ve just launched the production of a plastic water filter which is lighter and more economical. The concrete filter weighs about 300 pounds and the new plastic filter will weigh less than 10 pounds. The concrete filter has a flow rate of 60 liters per hour while the plastic filter will have a flow rate of 30 liters per hour.

The next hurdle is still getting the product into the field. Two thousand of these lighter-weight filters can now fit in a shipping container.

The change means more tests to prove the effectiveness to the World Health Organization. Fish says, “Our first step is going to be to deliver filters to three different countries so that we can demonstrate that not only does the plastic work, but that we’ll have to be able to demonstrate that we’re able to train people how to use them appropriately so that they actually do receive the health benefit from the clean water.”

The Plastic BioSand Water Filter will provide about 75 gallons of water per day. The quantity of water is sufficient for the drinking, bathing and cooking need of a family of 5 to 7 people.

Current plans are for distribution launches in January in Honduras, Ghana and the Dominican Republic. They’re hoping to eventually bring Cambodia into the network.

When asked how the filters reach their destined families in-country, Fish explained that it was through indigenous church partners.

“Whatever they’re receiving from us enables them to build the kinds of relationships that are necessary for them to be sharing their faith and expanding the reach of their own local church.” He adds, “With the water filter example, the delivery is going to happen in many different configurations. But certainly, the local church will be the first network that we will go to, to help us distribute these.”

Click here if you want to help fund the BioSand Water Filter projects.

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