Access to potable water a basic right, or not?
There is a severe shortage of safe, potable water in Uganda. Most people in slum areas drink from highly polluted streams and springs. Tap water, available only to a small proportion of people, is also unsafe. So water used as drinking water must be boiled before use for safety reasons. This sterilization not only has a huge impact on the budget, but also on the environment. Since most people still cook on wood fire and charcoal.
Fortunately, there are ceramic water filters from a local company called Spouts of Water. To make this project sustainable, we donate these Purifaaya filters to local families who, in exchange, enter a savings plan for new filters. This gives people access to clean drinking water, which improves their health and saves costs.
"Thank you so very much for the donation of the Purifaaya waterfilters. You have no idea how many lives you are changing, we are very grateful."
Malaika daycare nursery and primary school Kansanga
"In March 2022, Malaika4WC, provided Imani academy with 3 water purifiers to ensure access to clean safe water for the children, this has greatly reduced the occurrence of water borne diseases among the pupils, in return improving the attendance of the children in class; as fewer children miss school due to illnesses."
From spring water to drinking water
Spouts of Water's Purifaaya filters consist of a plastic bucket that holds a ceramic pot with microscopic holes. For only 30 euros, a family of 5 can get clean drinking water for 4 years with this system. In addition, Spouts of Water also has several models for larger families and schools.
More info on this project
Water problems in Uganda: An acute need
In Uganda, there is a glaring lack of safe drinking water. In slums, where the majority of the population lives, people drink water found in highly polluted streams and springs. The main cause of this pollution is the uncontrolled landfills, where garbage and plastic are burned together. The incineration residues, combined with human and animal feces, converge in these waterways and cause more and more pollution every year. All of our water samples contain traces of harmful chemicals and pathogenic bacteria.
Limited access to safe drinking water
Only a small percentage of the population has access to tap water, and even this is not always safe. Water used for drinking must be boiled for safety before it can be drunk. Knowing that many people still cook on wood fire and/or charcoal, this sterilization not only has a significant impact on their budget, but also on the environment.
Practical solution: ceramic water filters from Spouts of Water
We found a more viable solution at Spouts of Water, a local Ugandan company that produces ceramic water filters. These filters consist of a plastic bucket containing a ceramic pot with microscopic openings. With this system, families of five can be supplied with drinking water for four years for only 30 euros. In addition, Spouts of Water also offers several models for larger families and schools.
Sustainability and community contribution
To make this project sustainable, we donate these Purifaaya filters to local families who commit to a savings plan. For 4 years, they have to save 10 euros annually so that after this period they can buy a new clay filter themselves. In recent years, this project has dramatically improved the lives of a large group of people. By 2020, more than 100 families and 14 schools will have received their first water filters through our local partners Kapcdam and Einstein Rising. In 2022 alone, this project has given more than 3,000 people access to potable water.
Health and environmental benefitsn
This project has not only improved the health of families, but also significantly increased the survival rates of children under the age of 5. Proper use of these filters removes pathogenic bacteria from the water, making boiling unnecessary. This has a significant impact on families' daily costs and the environmental impact of these practices.
Ongoing support and challenges
It is difficult to attach a concrete budget to this project because we cannot estimate how many families depend on polluted water from waterways. The support in the period 2022-2023 came from the municipality of Temse, the provinces of East Flanders, the elementary school Heilig Familie from Sint Niklaas and some private sponsors. Thus, the scope of this project will depend on the budget that can be collected each year through grants and sponsorships, as the demand for improvement is high.