On Oct 18th, CAPD co-sponsored a one day seminar on Household Water Treatment using BioSand Filters. Our partner ASODISPIE along with Rotary Clubs of Bucaramanga Sotomayor and Bucaramanga Ruitoque helped bring it off. Special thanks to Dr. Luis Homero Alvarez and his colleagues from the Sotomayor club for handling registrations. Thank you to ASODISPIE and Alba Saavedra, their administrator, for taking care of much of the logistics.
The seminar was held in the new open air space at ASODISPIE which was a joint project between ASODISPIE and Rotary Club of Bucaramanga Ruitoque. The site provided a great ambience and its proximity to the filter production space next door allowed the group to pass from classroom to workshop and back.
We started off with an overview of Household Water Treatment and the impact it can make in small villages and hamlets. For example in the state of Cordoba, 50% of the cases coming to Emergency are for diarrhea caused by Rotavirus and other parasites and bacteria. Household water treatment reinforced with hygiene lessons will go a long way to reducing this number. Most peri-urban and rural areas in Colombia have similar problems. Bob led the group through the various challenges to provide a sustainable solution and why the BioSand Filter is the most sustainable option for the filtration component (30 year lifespan, no ongoing cost, nothing to replace).
The group consisted of 27 Rotarians from Barrancabermeja, San Gil, Ibague, Cucuta and Bucaramanga plus a couple gents from Red Cross and the Mayor of the municipality of Guapota (near Socorro). Everyone was there because they knew of a population that needed help with water treatment.
The classroom was situated next door to the workshop where ASODISPIE is building filters and so the group could pop over periodically to see the production process happen. (Dis-molding a filter done the day before, mixing concrete to make a new filter).
We reviewed the various steps after the filter comes out of the mold and also had a look at some of the rejects and discussed why they were rejected.
Because each attendee had some needy population in mind, they were very animated in discussing how to do their own projects and the kinds of materials and resources available. Many asked if CAPD would provide on-site training and consulting to their home clubs.
The group got more focused as we discussed how to finance such a project. The Mayor of Guapota was a good friend of some of the Rotarians and became pretty excited to learn how a project financed by Rotary Clubs and leveraged through the Rotary foundation could actually use a municipal contribution and have it leveraged by the Rotary foundation as well.
Final feedback was very positive. Four days after the seminar Bob received a proposal from the Rotary Club of New Ibague to do a project to serve 300 families, starting mid 2015. Another proposal is expected from the Municipality o Guapota. A very useful and successful seminar!