Water Filter Construction Underway

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The implementation of the Socorro Water project, a collaboration between Wuqu’ Kawoq, Engineers without Borders at the University of Illinois, the Sylvan Lake Canada Rotary Club and the community of Socorro, is underway! From December 10-12, five community members from Socorro attended training near Santiago, Sololá to learn how to construct Bio-Sand Filters for all the families in Socorro. They were trained by members of Servants 4 Him, an organization focused clean water initiatives and brining Bio-Sand filters to communities all over Guatemala. This past week our community collaborators built the first filters for Socorro! The Bio-Sand filters are being constructed in many developing countries as point of use filtration systems. This will allow families to control their access to clean water in their homes. Filters will be located in every home in Socorro so everyone can enjoy the benefits of clean water.

The training of our community collaborators consisted learning in the classroom about the theory and background of bio-sand filters combined with the hands-on training of how to build filters. The classroom learning focused on the importance of water, sanitation, and health and how the filters can be utilized to promote better overall health for the entire family when used correctly. Following classroom learning they practiced building filters by sifting sand, mixing concrete, making filters, and washing materials to do a filter installation. This training enabled them to return to Socorro with a metal filter mold and begin building on December 14th.

On December 28th Anne and a team of six engineers from Engineers without Borders- University of Illinois will travel to Socorro for ten days to collaborate with the community members on filter construction and overall water conservation and health. Over the ten days the team will build filters and talk with each family on use, maintenance, and cleaning of the filters. The team will also paint filters with the children and help each family decide where their filter should be placed in the household so it can be easily accessed. We will post pictures, stories, and videos on this blog in mid-January about this trip- so please check back. We are excited that clean water is now a reality for the families in Socorro in 2010!