Our UK partner, The Safe Water Trust has pioneered Aqua filters which have been developed to provide safe drinking water for families and communities in developing countries. The Aqua filters make biologically contaminated water from wells, rivers, lakes, stored water or pipes, safe to drink at the point of use.
The Aqua filters are ideally suited in rural areas where the installation of a bore well is not possible due to ground conditions or water quality. They do not use chemicals to clean the water and they have been tested to last for many years.
The Aqua filter is normally clamped onto the side of a bucket containing dirty water. When the filter is pumped, clean water is delivered directly into a drinking cup. It produces safe drinking water on demand at a rate of 1 litre a minute. This can provide for an extended family group of 30.
Manickavalli is a milk vendor. She comes from an impoverished background and lives with her family in the village of Siravayal in Tamil Nadu. Traditionally they belong to the community of Shoemakers. Manickavalli lives with her husband, two sons, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. There is no regular income coming into the household as they rely on seasonal daily labour opportunities. The family live in a simple tiled house, they have a few cattle used for milk and ploughing the field. As a large family unit, they require quite a lot of water for their daily bathing, cooking and drinking needs. However, their village has no access to a bore well, clean open or piped drinking water and so the family spends a considerable amount of time fetching polluted water from a nearby pond.
Once the water has been collected they add a seed called “Thethankottai”, which stays in the water until it dissolves.
This is a small rotund nut, found on local trees and is added to the collected water for purification. However, the nut only removes cloudiness which makes the water appear cleaner. In some cases, it can prove poisonous but villagers continue to use this traditional method.
The gift of an Aqua filter has transformed their lives. The Aqua filter eradicates 99.999% of all bacteria from the polluted water. They now have clean drinking water on their doorstep FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THEIR LIVES and they have also noticed a significant improvement in their health. Now, the family has more time to concentrate on their well-being and livelihood. To date, we have distributed over a hundred family and community aqua filters and changed the lives of thousands of vulnerable villagers.
A family aqua filter (as shown above) costs just £40
A community aqua filter which can support a school or village costs just £280
Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes – one for peace and one for science” ~ John F Kennedy