GWWI Report from the Field: Typhoid Eliminated in School Thanks to Biosand Filter!

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
“Before we got the Biosand Filters, seven students per week would get sick from typhoid. The school paid at least per student 450KSH (approx. $6US) just to take them to the doctor. Now we no longer have cases of typhoid and the school is saving money to buy educational materials.” 
—Teacher at Angel Academy
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At the Angel Academy Primary School typhoid was a daily occurrence with both students and teachers falling ill to disease caused by contaminated water.  With over 500 students and at least 7 incidences of typhoid per week costing a minimum of 450KSH per patient – not to mention the 200KSH/day the school laid out to have someone fetch the ‘safer’ water from the river, the school was spending thousands of dollars a year in water related costs. When they learned about the Biosand filter from GWWI Graduates Jane and Linda from Kilili Self Help Program (KSHP), they knew this was an opportunity for them to address this recurring health issue and minimize their financial burden once and for all.
1 (1)KSHP is a respected organization in this region having already trained over 25,000 people in organic bio-dynamic farming. They integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) into their program after being sponsored by American Jewish World Service to attend the GWWI Women and Water Training Program in 2011.

The Director at Angel Academy called upon KSHP to engage their students and teachers to build seven Biosand Filters – 6 for the school (1 filter per 100 people) and because he was completely convinced that this technology was the best solution for contaminated water, he even bought one for himself to place in his private home which he shares with his neighbors.  KSHP brought the mold to the school and conducted a BSF training for some of the teachers, local community members and one 15 year-old stellar student.  Some of the younger students helped with some of the simpler tasks like washing the gravel and sand, and everyone benefitted from the KSHPs WASH Education Training which covered proper hygiene, operations and care for the Biosand filter and other water and sanitation related practices.
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The students are so happy with the filter and after noticing their own improved health, they are even recommending that KSHP help them to go door to door to promote the BSF to their families so they can have clean water at home!

SAVE THE DATE: Women Making Waves: Report Back from Africa, Oct 25 at the David Brower Center!

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