Ceramic Purifier Solves Uganda's Water Safety Issues

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In short
The mixture is machine pressed into the correct flower pot mould, dried and fired using a traditional ceramic firing kiln. It is built with tiny holes that allow water molecules to pass through, leaving larger harmful dirt and bacteria trapped in the filter. They also have a thin layer of silver nitrate infused within the filter to enhance bacteria removal.

Another water purifying technology is finding its way into rural communities in Uganda thanks to the efforts of an American student Kathy Ku through an organisation known as Spouts of Water.

Ku, a graduate of Cellular and Molecular Biology and an M.S. in Engineering Science from Harvard University founded Spouts of Water after her 2010 sojourn in Uganda in which she identified the lack of safe drinking water as a major cause of diseases.

It is estimated that 10,000 people die annually in Uganda because of drinking contaminated water and that over eight million Ugandans don't have access to safe and clean water. More than 60 percent of the population boils water as a way of purifying it yet Waterborne illness is the number one killer of children under five in the country.

Ku's shock at the alarming figures gave birth to a new technology which uses physical filtration and chemical disinfection methods to absorb copper, fluoride, bacteria, viruses and pesticides and make water safe to drink.

Known as Purifaaya, the ceramic filter is becoming popular as aid agencies now offer it as part of the packages for people in refugee camps.

The Spouts of Water factory located in a Kabuusu a  suburb of Kampala employs 40 people with the capacity to make 10,000 filters a month. Richard Kiyiingi, one of the workers at the factory says the filters are gaining popularity among the technologies being promoted by humanitarian agencies fighting to eliminate water-borne diseases.
 
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He says that the filters are manufactured from local clay mixed with relatively firm organic materials like sawdust, coffee husks collected from the city's carpentry workshops.

The mixture is machine pressed into the correct flower pot mould, dried and fired using a traditional ceramic firing kiln. It is built with tiny holes that allow water molecules to pass through, leaving larger harmful dirt and bacteria trapped in the filter. They also have a thin layer of silver nitrate infused within the filter to enhance bacteria removal.

In the end, this results in a filter that is 99.9 percent effective against inorganic solids and biological materials, according to Kiyingi.
 
 //Cue in; "We use ceramics… 
 Cue out….. water will be free of germs"//// 
 
The ceramic water puffier is designed after the technology used in kidney dialysis where the tiny pores are able to stop the flow of bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, Vibrio cholerae, and Salmonella typhi which cause Cholera and Typhoid.

He said with this purifier, no one has to boil their water to make it safe ever again. The filter is provided with everything one needs to turn any water source into clean, safe drinking water.

It is hoped that with such filters, Uganda can be able to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) "Ensure access to water and sanitation for all."  We are seeing remarkable improvements in every community we work in.  Uganda is one of the countries that failed to meet the Millennium Development Goals on access to water.