One’s eyes are opened when visiting villages in which our filters are installed. Providing clean water seems to be just the first step when confronted with the realities of village life. Simply stated, our purpose in providing clean water to improve the health of the family especially the children, can be compromised by village customs such as failure to separate animals from the family living space, and going barefoot.
The first part of this blog highlights some of those factors compromising the health of children in the village. The second part highlights some of our activities when visiting villages to check filter installation.
This picture shows a family doing things right in terms of separating animals from the family living space. If only more families in the Colombian countryside were cognizant of animal control, more of them would have pretty fences such as this.
Many families have washing machines but they still have to lug the water from somewhere. Everyone needs to be vigilant that the chickens are pigs are kept out of the laundry – before and after washing.
A kitchen story. Why wash the dishes after eating – the poultry will help clean them off. Just remember to wash them before the next meal! I joke about this but hygiene is really tough in the countryside. I wonder how hard we would work at hygiene given the same situation.
Just another stove smouldering all day long, and more kids suffering from respiratory problems. Clean burning stoves would be a great complement to water filters. Anyone want to fund a stove program?
This photo shows another issue in the country – kids going barefoot. Parasites in the animal droppings stick around and then love to hitch a ride on the feet of a new host. Part of the CAPD Safe Water program is hygiene training and after 6 months of filter use, a round of anti-parasite treatment. But it is tough to get kids to wear sandals.
Our safe water program employs a community coordinator who makes three follow-up visits to make sure the filter is correctly installed and that the family is using it properly. She uses these visits to solve issues and to reinforce teaching in filter maintenance and hygiene.
The Rotarians also do follow-up visits in communities who have had the filters for a year or more. These visits provide the opportunity to assess filter function long after installation and to have face-to-face contact with families receiving the filters.
Not exactly situated for tall people but the location works for the family. Bob is holding the diffuser basket while checking the interior of the filter. Sand and water levels were as recommended. Now if we can only keep the ants and the cockroaches from hanging out inside – more aesthetics than health issue.
Bob and Dr. Miguel are checking out another filter. Miguel is the local champion – always promoting the benefits of proper hygiene and using filtered water. He is an anaesthesiologist so during surgeries he gets to see the impact that parasites have on human bodies. And that is why he is so passionate about the safe water program. He sees the results!