In most communities where Wuqu’ Kawoq works there is no access to clean water. As a result, many children, pregnant women, and elderly suffer from frequent water-borne infections. In our programs, we have found that clean water increases the overall health and wellness of our communities.
Collaboration and Research
Following an intensive period of research and analysis, in partnership with Engineers Without Borders and the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology we began installing Biosand water filters in 2009. Biosand filters are highly effective water purifiers. They can be made cheaply and easily using local materials. Furthermore, they:
- Function for more than 10 years if properly cared for;
- Are durable with few breakable parts;
- Produce a large volume of water quickly, which makes them suitable for use in large families with heavy water consumption.
Employing Community Members
Wuqu’ Kawoq has teams of local workers who are trained in and employed to produce Biosand filters. We have installed over 1500 filters in more than 10 communities, and we continue to produce more every day.
Implementation, Education, and Follow up
Change does not happen overnight and we work to support our communities for long term change. We believe that clean water is the key to better health for Maya families and we work together with the local leaders, schools, and community members to implement our clean water initiative. We have water education technicians that spend time with every family during the installation of their water filter teaching them how to use and care for the filter. The technician also visits every family for over 6 months following filter installation at regular intervals. If there are problems or misunderstandings about the filter, our technician helps the family overcome any hurdles. The water technician continues to visit families 3-4 times a year after the initial 6 months to encourage families to use the filters and to help solve any problems.
Clean Water During Emergencies
In the wake of Tropical Storm Agatha in 2010, Wuqu’ Kawoq provided emergency water services to more than 5,000 persons in multiple highland communities. In this setting, we utilized multiple technologies, including ceramic water filters, commercially bottled water, and point-of-care disinfectants. We currently maintain a reserve stockpile of PUR for 10,000 people for use in emergencies.
Let’s work together!
We are available to assist other organizations with their water filtration needs, and we are open to new project solicitations.