Monday, July 15, 2013

"Clean" Water in Rwanda

One of, if not the biggest challenge to health in the developing world is clean water. Many people live in perpetual states of dysentery and dehydration from dysentery. Unclean water also leads to the spread of diseases like cholera. This is a short video of a drinking water well in Rwanda at the village Musasa in the lakes region of northern Rwanda. Seen are the husband, wife and at least five of their kids. They were all very excited to see the first mzungo (white person me) to ever set foot in their village and at their water source.

What is the solution? I mean how do we purify the water in a way they can afford. There is basically boiling, filters, chemicals, and UV. All work but boiling requires stove fuel, filters require changing, chemicals cost money, and UV takes electricity. This is not a one stop problem, the solution must be sustainable. After the mzungos leave the solution must keep working. My guess is filters is the best option, maybe a ceramic filter that can be cleaned like MSR filters, but capable of tens of thousands of gallons, and including a valve instead of the continuous flow shown in the video. They couple perhaps be cleaned every month and changed a couple times a year. It would cost money but it would reduce diseases too.

How was Africa? Heartbreaking.

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