Filters in Tanzania - Becky
I have been in Tanzania for around a week now, running a project implementing low-cost water filters in Dar-es-Salaam. I first came across this type of filter at the Global Action on Poverty Summit in India this year and was immediately impressed with their long life and low maintenance requirements. Although they don’t protect the water from recontamination, like the Blue Tap chlorine injector does, they are more appropriate for houses which don’t have piped water and cannot afford to have it anytime soon.
It’s good to be back in Tanzania (I’d missed being shown up by the locals at karaoke) and partnering with the organisation I volunteered for two years ago: the Cambridge Development Initiative (CDI). Their volunteers have impressed me already (as I suspected they would) doing community surveys, water habits research and organising a water information workshop in an informal settlement.
This week we had some productive meetings about potential partnerships, received the filters and ran our first ambassador training workshop. The workshop covered water management training as well as business skills training. We are particularly proud that most of our ambassadors are women; one of whom secured interest in a sale as she left the workshop! On Saturday, CDI and Kite Dar es Salaam will be running a water information workshop in Vingunguti on our behalf covering water sources, contamination and treatment options. We are very grateful for their hard work and support in this!
These next few weeks are really about exploring the barriers to adoption that low-cost water technology faces here. In the days I’ve been here I’ve already heard about potential resistance to new technology but also about some of the ways that people have been getting around this – for example by leveraging mobile technology (for which there is very little resistance). As the median age is only 17.7 here (Source: World Population Review), we’re exploring mobile technology platforms as a way of generating awareness for our product.
At the beginning of this exciting project, I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Arthur Shercliff Memorial Trust for giving me this opportunity and our excellent partners in this project: CDI, Kite Dar es Salaam, Young World Africa and Basic Water Needs.