In direct response to this need, the Bio-Sand Water Filter (BSF) was introduced in Pamplona last July 2007. The BSF is a proven technology that is used in over 40 developing countries worldwide. It is designed to provide clean drinking water for a family of 6-15 people per day, with a total daily output of 220 Liters. The filter is easily constructed using local materials, is affordable, easy to use, costs nothing to maintain and removes 95% of contaminants from water.
Another objective of this project is to provide a livelihood for Pamplona’s Out of School Youth (OSY). The OSY in all 17 barangays have been organized into a youth group called the Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP; “Pag-asa” means “hope”). Four PYAP members have been hired to build, sell and install the filters in Pamplona and surrounding communities. After about six months, new youth are hired so that many PYAP members can benefit from the program.
The present cost of the filter is 2,000 pesos ( $ 45.00). We have found that, while many people can afford the BSF, the people who need the filter most cannot afford it. In order to provide Pamplona’s poorest with clean water, we will use the money donated by the Rotary Club of Temecula ($1,600) and other funding donors to build and install more filters and buy more sanitary water containers, five for each filter. Barangay officials and health workers will identify the most impoverished families who will benefit most from having a BSF in their homes. Each filter will be shared by five families, and each family will receive a sanitary water container.
This project is an ongoing as part of our international program. We are working with a local Rotary club. We have not pursued a Matching Grant in the past. With the participation of other local clubs a Matching Grant becomes a possibility in the upcoming year.
The Gambia is a small State in West Africa. The population of the Gambia is estimated to be 1.6 million, and the density per square kilometer is 128, one of the highest in Africa. Three quarters of the population is rural. Women constitute 51 per cent of the population. Currently, the crude birth rate is 46.2 per thousand though dropping is still high. Life expectancy at birth is low at 55 years overall, and 54 years and 57 years for males and females respectively.
The Gambia is among the poorest countries in the World, ranked 155th out of 177, in UNDP’s Human Development Index for 2004. As is the case in many developing countries, water is a precious and critical resource for the Gambian people. Without access to adequate wells, women spend an inordinate time searching for and transporting water in order to feed families and grow crops.
Gardens for the Gambia focuses on digging wells at schools. The wells provide three critical things for Gambian school children: 1) Knowledge of agriculture; 2) A meal – sometimes their only meal of the day - for the poorest children; and 3) profits from surplus produce sold at market enable the school to buy supplies and equipment. Each well serves 100 to 300 people.
Many individuals wonder why such a long period of time is required in The Gambia and why matters cannot be attended to more efficiently or with much less time. Unfortunately, much of West Africa, including The Gambia, is part of the developing world. As a result, there is a lack of infrastructure and communication is often difficult. However, we have opted to make this project an ongoing part of our “African Program” and are joining with a Rotary Club in The Gambia to apply for a Matching Grant. San Bernardino Sunset has joined us as a MG partner.