Low-maintenance filtration towers to keep villagers away from disease
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In a bid to provide clean water and spread hygiene awareness in rural India, Pure Water, a non-profit organisation has brought a low-maintenance water filtration technology to schools and villages in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat. The organisation has installed the systems at places where water is impure and water-borne diseases are rampant. The system runs on gravity and does not need much care.
"Around 38 million people are affected with diarrhea, cholera and hepatitis every year in India alone. Water-borne diseases have dropped to 80 per cent in villages where we have installed the filtres," said Mark Steele, CEO and founder of Pure Water.
Headquartered in Nebraska, USA, Pure Water, sponsored by J P Morgan, focuses mainly on South Asia, stating its presence in 9 countries including Pakistan and Indonesia. "Africa has a water accessibility problem. However, Asia has a water-quality problem," said Steele. The filtration towers can process 10,000 litres of drinking water every day, serving the needs of 1,000 people. So far, 47 filtration towers have been set up across Maharashtra, with another 70 to be completed by 2012. "The system does not need much care. We teach the local people how to function the machine. We visit the places on a monthly basis to ensure that the systems are fine. Our systems come with a 5 year guarantee though the expected life is anywhere between 8 and 15 years," said Neeraj Sharma, Country Manager for Planet Water, India.
Pure Water works in partnership with BAIF Development Research Foundation. "We train the teachers about good hygiene practices and they in turn educate the children. The children go home with knowledge to share, and the entire family benefits," said Shriniwas Indapurkar, program coordinator for BAIF.
As part of its multimedia education programme in schools across Pune district, Galli Galli Sim Sim characters Elmo and Chamki will star in a DVD reinforcing essential hygiene practices. The programme will first be shown in schools across Pune district and later across India. Two public service television announcements themed on water conservation will also be included in the DVD and broadcast on POGO and Cartoon Network.
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