Biosand Water Filter Project in Jironkota, Bolivia

Biosand Water Filter Project in Jironkota, Bolivia

Drinking water from a Mano a Mano biosand water filter.

Drinking water from a Mano a Mano biosand water filter.

People in Jironkota, Bolivia are now using the biosand water filters built in collaboration with Mano a Mano earlier this year!

So far, 37 families have had water filters installed at their homes. 220 residents have been trained on the importance of clean water, along with 24 officials from three other municipalities (their interest in this project is likely to increase requests for training from their constituents).

Child in Bolivia drinking from the biosand water filter at his home.

Child in Bolivia drinking from the biosand water filter at his home.

Decreasing murkiness of their water is the primary benefit, and reducing bacterial count is the second benefit.

Project Steps

  1. The Mano a Mano agronomist assessed trainee’s learning about the benefits of clean water through simple post-training verbal questions (many trainees are not literate).
  2. The agronomist observed as trainees constructed their filters.  She repeated the training process until trainees could construct filters correctly at the CEA site. Following the formal training, the agronomist traveled to the trainee’s community to observe additional training of other farmers and determine whether the filters were constructed and being used correctly.
  3. University of Minnesota students and other U.S. volunteers continue to complete an extensive literature search on diffusion of technology to both shape and affirm our approach to this project. Their findings thus far strongly support the method used by Mano a Mano to engage farmers as agents of the changes they seek.
  4. CEA interns from the U.S. sampled farmer’s drinking water prior to and three months following use of the filters. Analysis of the level of coliform bacteria for both sets of samples was completed at the Universidad Mayor de San Simon in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Initial Lab Results of the Filters

After three months of filter use, the level of total coliform bacteria ranged from an 86-100% reduction and the level of fecal coliform bacteria ranged from a 92-100% reduction, a strong positive result. (Anything over 90% improvement is generally considered successful.) Also, the filters get better over time because the “good” bacteria continue to multiply at the top of the filter and “eat” the disease-causing bacteria.

Biosand water filter at a home in the Jironkota area of Bolivia.

Biosand water filter at a home in the Jironkota area of Bolivia.

Pictures from Installation of Water Filters

Center for Ecological Agriculture

This water filter project is a pilot project throught our Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA). Special thanks to Oxford Development Abroad and the Pentair Foundation, who have supported this project!

Wirkini Water Reservoir Project 35% Complete

Wirkini Water Reservoir Project 35% Complete

Mano a Mano’s water project in Wirkini, Bolivia is about 35% complete! The working conditions are very challenging – it is about 13,000 feet above sea level and very cold and windy – but when complete will provide consistent access to water for more than 2,000 people.

Learn more about the project here.

More Information about Wirkini Water Reservoir

Mano a Mano's heavy equipment working on the Wirkini water reservoir.

Mano a Mano’s heavy equipment working on the Wirkini water reservoir.

Loading 3 40-ft. Containers with 75,000 pounds of Supplies

Loading 3 40-ft. Containers with 75,000 pounds of Supplies

Volunteers loading supplies at our St. Paul, Minnesota warehouse.

Volunteers loading supplies at our St. Paul, Minnesota warehouse.

 More Pictures on Facebook

 


 

Give to the Max Day 2014

Give to the Max Day 2014

November 13 is Give to the Max Day 2014! From the GiveMN website: “Join thousands of Minnesotans as we ignite generosity and raise millions of dollars for nonprofits and schools across the state. Make a donation to your favorite cause on November 13 and be part of Minnesota’s annual day of giving!”

Donate to Mano a Mano on Give to the Max Day November 13 and Increase Your Impact!

We have a matching gift available, and donations are eligible for randomly selected $2,000 golden tickets every hour throughout the day that are added to your donation, in addition to other possible prizes.

All donations will go towards our container shipment of donated supplies from Minnesota to Bolivia this week, and any additional funds raised over our goal would go to the next shipment sometime in 2015.

Check out our GiveMN page to learn more; you can also donate in the form below:

Thanks!

Rivers to Dust

Rivers to Dust

We just wanted to share this beautiful video made by Fusion on how climate change is effecting communities in the rural Bolivian Highlands. The people talking in this video have the same concerns as the community represetatives that come to Mano a Mano, asking to partner with us on projects, and water reservoirs is one of the highest priority projects.