Water Filter Project
One of the procedures making batey medical clinics so important to the Sugar Cane Kids is administering a small cup of medicine that will kill the parasites living in their stomachs. These parasites not only rob them of the small amount of nutrition they receive, they can also make them sick with diarrhea that can lead to dehydration and sometimes death.
With every clinic there are two long lines. The first is children waiting for parasite medicine and the second to see the doctor for a checkup. In the first line children are given a dosage that relates to their age. we measure out the bitter syrup and the children take the cup and drink it down without complaint. They have done this many times a doubtless know the benefits of taking their medicine.
The major cause of these parasites is the lack of potable water. The water in the batey comes from a faucet fed through a long pipe that receives water from a well or an elevated tank. The water receives no treatment and if put in a glass you cannot see through it. The main purpose of this water is to water the cane, not provide potable water for people.
About 2006 We entered into partnership with Rotary International's program to provide water filters that will accept the available water and clean out over 99% of the bacteria and organic material in the water. At first we were building cement filters, using the visiting teams to build and distribute up to forty filters a week.
More recently we have changed over to a plastic body for the filter that works the same way as the earlier models. Filtering water is accomplished with no moving parts, just the water, and works on the principle that water will seek it's own level. The filter is filled with a small amount of course gravel, topped by a larger amount of finer gravel, and then filled to the 'tap' level with washed sand.
Above the sand a dispersion plate is installed to prevent water from disturbing the active layer of bacteria eating microbes when new water is poured in. Each filter supplies enough clean water for a family of five or six.
We have estimated the number of filters necessary to provide one for every family that wants one is nearly 4,000 units. To date we have installed about half that number. The cost of one filter is $150.00 US. That covers the purchase of the plastic vessel, the purchase and cleaning of the sand, gravel, and dispersion plate, and educating the family how to properly use the filter. Periodic inspections are also included in the price.
You can help by clicking the Pay Pal link at the top of this page. Mention Water Filter on the 'Purpose' line.
If you would rather send a check please make it out to GSMC and mail it to:
800 Main ST
Holden, MA 01520
For more information please e-mail us at La Romana.Org
You can download and print a brochure about this project from the Library.
YOU CAN HELP
Please help a batey family with your purchase of a biosand water filter.
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