Residents of Ruhango and Karongi districts will soon be able to access clean water, thanks to a donation of 10 water purification facilities worth Rwf43 million from Water for the World. Water for the World is a global NGO that works in the areas of water and sanitation, as well as water preservation through sustainable use and management.
Each water filter is worth $5,000 (about Rwf4.3 million) and has the capacity to purify 1,000 litres of water per day, according to Danny R. Thomas, the Water for the World global president. The facilities use the biosand water filtration system that is designed for households. The system has a container with an inserted plastic pipe and is filled with layers of sand and gravel.
Thomas said the facilities would help improve health and hygiene in the beneficiary communities by providing them safe drinking water.
“The project will provide clean water and also create jobs for the youth as they will be leading the operations,” he said while handing over equipment in Kigali.
He added that the challenge of lack of clean water is growing across the world.
“These facilities will enable the beneficiaries to access clean water…Clean water is a basic need for any society,” he said.
According to Charles Mazeze Byiringiro, the coordinator of the project, the facilities will be installed next month and the organisation said more districts would benefit from the project in future.
“Our target is to help different communities across the country, where access to clean water is still a big problem. We shall construct other facilities so that people can easily access safe water,” he added.
Byiringiro said the communities will be trained on how to use the facilities as well as protecting them.
How the system works
Dirty water is poured into the top of the biosand filter, where a diffuser plate evenly distributes water over the sand bed. Water percolates through the sand bed via multiple layers of gravel and collects in the plastic pipe at the bottom of the filter. Then the clean water exits through the plastic piping into a reservoir.
Biosand filters remove pathogens and suspended solids from water using biological and physical processes that take place in a sand column covered with a biofilm.