Restoring Clean Water on a Pilot Project in Colombia
Field Ready just completed the second action assessment in Colombia, accompanied by Director Eric James, Technical Advisor Max Aredes and Innovation Advisor Georg Hoehne, who previously worked for Field Ready in Jordan.
The first location visited was in the rural area of San Luis, a small town outside of Neiva, thanks to the support of the United Nation office for Human Rights in Columbia. The village and the surrounding camps were under the control of the FARC, however, since the peace accord was signed, they have yet to intervene. This has left the local community with many of their needs unmet.
Field Ready assessed the water treatment plant, which is one of the key problems faced by the community. The water treatment plant has not worked for two years, and the plant that produced the filters shut down, thus there was no way to obtain a replacement part. This has caused many people to fall sick with e.coli and other water-borne illnesses, particularly children and the elderly. In addition, corrosion began to further destroy the treatment plant and solutions, such as chlorine, were available to the community, but unfortunately they were not equipped to use it.
As such, there was an acute need to implement a quick and effective solution to help the local population obtain clean water. Field Ready decided to move forward with creating an active carbon filter, using freely available materials in the area.
Field Ready taught this process to families to implement in their homes, as well as working with a local school. The village school had 400 students and is a vital part of the community and surrounding areas.
The children were very eager to learn and the teachers helped to instruct the children about how they can build the filters themselves. In doing so, we did not just help this village but the entire region to gain access to clean drinking water.
Next, Field Ready worked with the administrative team of the water treatment plant to calculate how much chlorine they need to treat the water reservoir to clean the water they consume. This was very important for the household level as we instructed the families how to use bleach and chlorine to treat the water they consume. We ensured that the instruction and training were thorough, so the families would understand how to adequately clean the water using chlorine.
In just a few days, Field Ready carried out an analysis of the water treatment plan, educated local stakeholders and managed to build improved products to enhance the quality of life, such as 20 multi-filtration water filters for households.
Read the next blog to learn about some of the other items we in Colombia!