The Global Women’s Water Initiative Team has been traveling through East Africa to visit the women teams that were trained in our 2011-2012 year long training program. Meet the people whose lives they are changing.
GWWI Team – Gemma Bulos, Director; Rose Wamalwa, Kenya/Tanzania Field Coordinator; Comfort Mukasa, Uganda Field Coordinator
“I never had hope of becoming rich because I would spend 2000KSH ($25US) per month because my children would get sick of typhoid. The money would come and go. Because of the Biosand Filter, now I dream of being rich!”—CISO Member
The Community Initiative Self-Help Organization (CISO) of Birunda loves the Biosand Filter! So much so, that after a few of them learned how to build it, they convinced the other members to adopt it and started planning a campaign to bring clean water to their group.
CISO learned about the BSF from GWWI Graduates Jane and Lindah Kilili Self-Help Program (KSHP). KSHP promotes food security having trained over 25,000 people in organic bio-dynamic farming to increase their crop yield so they can provide food for their family and sell the excess. After attending the GWWI Women and Water Training Program, KSHP has since integrated a new Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program, adding water security to their mission. KSHP hosted a WASH Education training inviting people from five of their local communities to learn to build the Biosand Filter. Those attendees returned home to promote the BSF and encourage their community members to consider it as a viable option for clean water.
CISO took the information and ran with it! It didn’t take much convincing for some of the members. After testing the water from her existing water treatment, one woman member found out that her current clay water filter was not working and she broke it and wanted a Biosand Filter. Another family who had not been able to boil their water during the rainy season because there was no available firewood and chlorine was too expensive wanted a BSF too!
They collected money from their members and rented the BSF mold from KSHP so they could provide filters for their group as well as sell them. They came up with a “Buy One Sell One” promotion scheme that required all the members to buy one filter and sell one to guarantee that they make their investment back and more. They also contributed the funds for materials, tools and labor to build 30 filters to start their business!
CISO is well on their way to building a sustainable enterprise to provide clean water for their community and beyond!