Globally, 783 million people do not have access to clean and safe drinking water; with 37% of those people living in Sub-Saharan Africa. These statistics include the people of Chala, Kenya. Chala’s water is unsafe because its sources are streams and shallow wells. Typically these water sources are contaminated with fecal matter, harmful protozoa, and sometimes diseases like cholera and typhoid. In fact, Chala town and surrounding villages have the highest incidence of water borne disease and deaths in that region. Would drilling new deep-water wells solve the problem? Not likely. Due to Chala’s geographical location, even the deepest water wells are saline, which requires desalinization to make it drinkable. This process is cost prohibitive for cash-strapped governments like Kenya’s.

While providing new water sources for the people of Chala is not an option at this time, Foothold International introduced biosand water filtration technology to the area. Biosand filters are simple, sustainable, and extremely effective; removing up to 99% of organisms that cause disease. Silt and other solids are also removed, rendering the water perfectly clear and cool to taste. Lasting 6-10 years, biosand filters eliminate the need for traditional methods of water purification such as chlorine tablets, and boiling over charcoal.

Foothold’s biosand project provides employment for the Chala community, and uses only local materials in all our products. We also work cooperatively with local health departments and other international non-profits to promote safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices.

Your donation to this project can assist Foothold in taking biosand water filtration to other communities,as well as diversifying our WASH Cycle program. You can also subsidize a biosand filter for just $35.00, so that children can drink clean safe water at their school. Statistics have also shown that our biosand filters have helped increase school attendance by as much as 25% in just seven months.