“I used to fetch drinking water from the nearby well…it used to have a bad taste and foul smell but we had no other option. Many of us used to have stomach issues and cough problems due to this. We are thankful to the Art of Living for installing the water purifying system here.”
– Khadom, from Mankhet village near which we installed a water purification system
In Purulia district in West Bengal, there have been a large number of deaths owing to jaundice. Other water borne diseases like typhoid, jaundice and gastro-enteritis are also rampant. The primary reason is the lack of clean drinking water. To address the issue we installed low cost filtration equipment in the village. Clean filtered water is now available and the health of people in many villages has improved.
In a country where one in three villages is forced to consume chemically contaminated water, investing on low cost water filtration is a good alternative. We have explored various filtration technologies and are keen to leverage on our outreach to spread these technologies across many more areas now.
Two pilot BIOSAND based water filtration plants catering to 4500 residents of 7 villages in Purulia District have been setup that are catering to the needs of the local communities.
How does the journey look so far?
community water purification plants installed in 2013 in Purulia District, West Bengal
of 7 villages receive safe drinking water
Local youth trained
to ensure that our installations are sustainable
How did we work?
We evaluated the technologies available for their cost, ease of use and sustainability. We discussed these with the villagers and then finally honed on the following two technologies:
TERAFIL™ water filter is a low cost device that can be deployed in individual homes. It is especially effective in filtering water that is rich in sediments, and has suspended particles, iron or microorganisms that causing water-borne diseases.
BIOSAND filters are inexpensive and effective filters developed especially for deployment in remote areas. These slow sand water filters are specifically designed for removing disease causing organisms with intermittent operation. The filters are composed of a cast concrete container with layers of sand and gravel and a naturally occurring biological layer in the top few centimeters of the sand layer. All the materials utilised in building the filters are available locally and filters of various sizes and scales can be assembled.
What did we learn?
The water purification technology selection was a key decision in this project. If the technology selected were hard to use or to maintain and was not cost effective then it would become defunct very fast.
We sought local participation and involved the community in the decision making process. This empowered the villagers and they gave active inputs and resourcing for the project.
How can you contribute?
We would like more villages in the country to get clean and pure drinking water. This is an ambitious undertaking and requires the participation of all stakeholders including the local community, government and the private sector.