CAWST quality water testing conference.
This week of group of 20 community leaders gathered for a 4-day conference on Water Testing put on by CAWST through a collaboration of Seeds of Hope and Connect Africa Ministries. The group of Zambians, Ugandans, Kenyans and Congolese gathered for educational training on how to find clean water, what kinds of things contaminate water and how it harms people and how to test the safety of their water. It was a basic course in microbiology and simple lab procedures. These individuals were empowered with scientific knowledge to help educate and train their communities on clean water and sanitation.
The conference allowed for great dialogue between individuals who shared difficulties facing their communities with unsafe water. Between everyone, they shared many difficulties they face with their water supplies: high fluoride content, bacteria’s in water, turbid, salt, pollution, dust, sulfur dioxides (acid rain), fecal matter, human pollution, worms, life forms, raw sewage, industrial waste, trash.
“The problem is that some contaminants aren’t visible to the eye. Many are invisible to the naked eye. How do we pollute our environment: sewage, poor disposal of garbage, industrial pollution, chemicals in the farming, open defecation… the thing is that we all know a lot about how we’re contaminating our water. It’s somewhat basic knowledge – the problem is finding the best solutions,” Elijah of Seeds of Hope said. “Just by looking at the appearance (of water) isn’t good enough. There are certain things that need to be done to make sure the water you’re drinking is now safe.”
Most of the participants were aware of the pollutants and the issues in their community but did not have ways to solve the problems on their local levels. The implementation of BioSand Water Filters in communities is one sustainable solution to creating safe water in communities.
“I have learned how to keep water safe and I know that not every water is good for me to take. I will be able to let everyone know. They believe that safe water is always boiled and they don’t have enough information to know that it (BioSand Filters) makes safe water,” said participate Sammy Nakanjako of Migadde. “I have a lot of friends and I will make sure that my friends let others know – that’s how I’ll be able to transfer the knowledge I have.”
The hopes of CAWST, Seeds of Hope and Connect Africa Ministries is that they can train and equip local people to learn about water safety and then they can educate people on the results of the water testing, they can help them chose better water sources, they can petition their leaders for changes, they can help connect people to clean storage or home solutions and village-level solutions.
“Since we have come to this session I shall come back with good information and help them to overcome such problems because some of them have been suffering from diarrhea from poor water,” participant Vincent Nalumoso said. “But due to this session, then we shall be in position so that we can overcome that illness that people have gotten in that community. The BioSand Filters help us to that we can get safe water and even keeping water in a good area in a good place.”