Hello Kickstarter Backers!
It's hard to believe I've been in Ghana now for more than 4 months. I'm sorry it's taken so long for a Kickstarter update. We don't always have the most reliable internet and, when we do, I've been mainly updating our team's blog and twitter. The best way to keep up to date with everything going on here is to keep checking those 2 links.
However, we've made some major progress on the project recently, so I wanted to make sure all my Kickstarter backers were informed. Here is my most recent blog post about the clean water project (taken from http://ghanatrinitytrip.blogspot.com/2010/09/water-filters.html)
One thing I've learned over and over here in Ghana is that plans have a tendency to change. One thing that's changed a lot since the planning stages of our trip is the clean water project. Before leaving Michigan, we planned on purchasing the Biosand water filter from a distributor in Ghana. The Biosand filter uses stones, gravel, sand, and a thin layer of "good bacteria" to purify water.
However, after being in Ghana for several months, we ran into a problem: the distributor doesn't exist yet. The American company which makes the filters is in the process of setting up the distribution center, but is not finished yet and doesn't know when they will be.
The last thing we wanted to do is abandon our clean water projects so we found a replacement:
The Clay Pot Water Filter
These water filters uses microscopic pores in the clay to filter 99.88% of pathogens in the water. To use, you simply fill upper clay pot with water and let gravity do the rest. [Read more about clay pot water filters here: Potters for Peace
] The filtered water drips in the plastic container below. Each filter has a tap at the bottom of the plastic so you can easily pour yourself a clean glass of water.
Although at first I was disappointed when I heard we wouldn't be able to buy the Biosand filter, I now think the clay pot filter may even be a better choice. They offer several advantages to the Biosand filter:
- They're cheaper. Instead of purchasing 15 filters as was planned, we were able to purchase 40 filters and get them to Kpando from Accra for less money!
- They have a built in water reservoir. The Biosand filters require you to have another container ready for the filtered water. Furthermore, if these containers aren't properly cleaned, you instantly contaminate the clean water. These clay pot filters have the water container and filter in one single unit that only needs to be cleaned every 2-4 weeks.
- They're more common. Our orphanage and a couple nearby schools already have some of these filters. Learning how to use them won't be as difficult as they're more familiar.
So yesterday, Becka and I made a very long, single day journey to Accra and brought back 40 clay pot water filters:
The next step will be distributing the filters. I already have several orphanages, schools, and families in mind, so I'll keep you all up to date on where all the filters end up!