WASH Plan


School and Household Filtration Project
1 location in Kenya
Focus: Drinking Water - Schools; Drinking Water - Households
Implementation dates: November 1, 2013 to October 31, 2014
Planned impact: 7,500 people
Status: Approved - Needs Funding
$64,500 estimated project cost
$50,000 requested
$0 funded to date
Peer Review Average Score: 8.13
8 reviews submitted
8 discussion participants

Summary

Aqua Clara will provide 500 hollow fiber Household Filters as micro-loans to its existing 40 Community Development Entrepreneurs. ACI will also install 5 hollow fiber Facility Filtration Systems in 5 of its partner schools.

Background

Aqua Clara International (ACI) has been working in the Kisii region for over 5 years, via the local schools to provide clean water solutions, health and hygiene training, and access to water via rain water harvesting and biosand filtration. Using these local schools as access points, ACI trains local entrepreneurs to build, sell, and install their own biosand filters, sell safe water storage containers, hand washing stations, and rain water harvesting units under the supervision of the national ACI office.

Thanks to several PWX Grants, ACI now has over 40 successful entrepreneurs, 30 health promoters, and has provided rain water harvesting units in 36 rural schools.

To date, these entrepreneurs have built and installed over 2700 biosand filters, however, the biosand filters are only ideal for a specific demographic, are labour intensive, and can only produce a limited amount of clean water per day, thus not meeting the needs of their communities as a whole, or the clean water demands of larger schools.

In an effort to support the entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and reach additional markets, ACI has designed several inexpensive hollow fiber filtration units which are ideal for households, clinics, schools, and community kiosk systems. These units are robust, long lasting, inexpensive, and scalable to produce from 150 liters per day to 10,000 liters per day.

Through the School and Household Filtration Project, ACI will accomplish the following 3 goals:
1. Provide inexpensive clean water for 500 families and 2500 school children in the Kisii and Eldoret Regions of Kenya.
2. Support 40 existing entrepreneurs to grow their businesses by providing new products, training, and marketing support.
3. Support 5 partner schools with hollow fiber Facility Filtration Systems, capable of producing 6000 liters per day for student and community use

Files

Location

School and Household Filtration Project

Rigoma, Kenya

Impact

Focus

Primary focus:
Drinking Water - Schools
Secondary focus:
Drinking Water - Households

People Getting Safe Drinking Water

5,000

500 household filters will be provided for rural and urban families. We estimate each family to have 5 members. Therefore, approximately 2500 people will be impacted via the installation of 500 household filters.

People Getting Sanitation

0

Schoolchildren Getting Water

2,500

People Getting Other Benefits

40 CDE's, 30 CHP's, and 5 ACI Staff members will be trained on the technology, sale, installation, and maintenance of the Hollow Fiber filtration systems.

Implementation

Application type:
program
Start date:
November 1, 2013
Completion date:
October 31, 2014

Technology Used

As Aqua Clara is introducing a new Technology into their program, we will use a multi level approach in order to provide as much exposure as possible for the entrepreneurs and their markets.

We will provide 2 types of hollow fiber filtrations systems:

1. Household filter - which can be configured to provide 150 - 300 liters of clean water per day. This initial set of 500 Household filters will be spread throughout the Kisii and Eldoret regions to ensure maximum exposure and feedback from various applications.

Aqua Clara will use our existing network of Community Development Entrepreneurs (CDE's) and Community Health Promoters (CHP's) working out of our partner schools to implement the project.

Training:
Aqua Clara will initiate the project with an all staff, CDE and CHP training on Hollow Fiber technology, the ACI filter systems, maintenance, marketing, sales, and implementation plan.
Once the CHPs and CDE's can adequately present, sell, install, and maintain the new products, then ACI will begin marketing the products.

Marketing:
ACI will provide sample filters for each of the CHP's, CDE's, and ACI staff members to use in their homes for 1 month. In addition, ACI will also approach selected school administrators, district officers, village chiefs, regional governors, radio hosts, and businesses and provide them with a sample Household filter to use as well.
After one month of use, the CHP's will conduct their first round of evaluations from the selected recipients, and will culminate in a CDE and CHP meeting to review the evaluations. The CHP and CDE group leaders will then develop a Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP) on how to market, sell, monitor and evaluate the product effectively.

In coordination with the DIP, ACI staff will encourage the recipients of the sample units to give endorsement of the products via radio, signed letter, or verbal recognition at potential marketing events being held in community market places or partner schools.

Sales and Implementation:
Each CDE will be provided with 10 household filters as a micro-loan for sale in their respective communities and towns. Once the sales and installations have been made, the CDE will keep the agreed upon profit, and repay ACI for the materials cost. ACI will then use the money to resupply the CDE with 10 additional filters, thus creating a revolving fund for continued sales and self-sustainability.

Monitoring and Evaluation:
The CHP will conduct their initial evaluation of each household filter after one month of use, ensuring the end user is satisfied with its performance and understand the required maintenance. The CHP will enter all of the data from the evaluation forms into a smart phone app which will upload to a server once she is has internet access. She will also provide the end user with a Health and Hygiene presentation ensuring the end user is aware and can implement simple health and hygiene techniques.

2. Facility Filtration System: - which is designed to produce up to 6000 liters of clean water per day. These 5 Facility Filtration Systems will be installed in larger schools where rainwater harvesting systems had been installed and where the need for clean water is greatest.

ACI will select the top CDE's to be trained on the installation, maintenance, and training of users on the Facility Filtration Systems. Along with the New Programs Manager, these CDE's will install the systems in each school, receiving hands on experience and providing the necessary information for each school administrator on the use and maintenance of each system.
These CDE's will become specialized in maintenance, follow up, and troubleshooting problems that could potentially arise with the Facility systems, and be a part of any solutions or redesigning necessary to improve the existing models.

Once the Facility systems are installed, ACI will provide water samples to the Kenyan Bureau of Standards (KEBS) for thorough water testing. Once the systems have been approved by KEBS, ACI will allow the schools to begin providing water to their students and the surrounding community.

During the monthly Health Clubs being held at the schools, the CHP's will evaluate the Facility systems, and provide feedback during the CHP monthly meetings at the ACI office.

TECHNOLOGY
Hollow Fiber Membrane / Ultrafiltration (UF) Technology

Ultra-filtration is used in water filtration systems to remove bacteria, algae, cysts, parasites and microbial contaminants. The Aqua Clara range of water filters use hollow fiber ultra-filtration (UF) membrane technology and combines it with sand filtration producing robust and inexpensive water filtration capabilities. The hollow fiber UF membranes are made from polymeric material and resemble straight lengths of noodles that are hollow on the inside.

On the surface are very tiny tightly controlled microscopic pores that range from 0.1 to 0.2 micron in size. The pores have the ability to stop the passage of particles, turbidity and pathogens such as bacteria, algae, cysts and parasites but allow water and natural, healthy essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium to flow through. The result is a consistent supply of high quality treated water.

Using only the existing water pressure from your water supply, water passes through the water filter and provides safe, clean filtered water on demand. No electricity or additional chemicals are needed.

By combining Sand, an ancient filtration technology, and the modern Hollow Membrane Technology, Aqua Clara filters are scalable and can now produce from 150 ltrs – 10,000 ltrs of 99.99% bacteria free clean water a day. ACI's facility filters have been installed and are producing pure water at school and village sites in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Nicaragua, and Peru.

Phases

The project will be implemented in several phases:

1. Training
2. Marketing
3. Implementation
4. Monitoring and Evaluation

Community Organization

ACI does not implement any project without the invitation of local administration and local schools. Using local entrepreneurs ensures the community is involved and there is local ownership as each project is demand driven. IF there is no local demand, then the entrepreneurs inform ACI that the product or project is not acceptable.
Prior to initiating a project, ACI involves the local authorities, gaining their feedback and support. With the support of District Officers, Village Chiefs, and School administrator, ACI has found people to be more accepting and willing to participate.

Using schools as a catalyst for information and technology transfer has been highly successful as the children and school personnel are able to provide feedback to the community on products, ideas and projects implemented by ACI.

Government Interaction

In order to work within public schools, ACI receives approval from the regional or district Ministry of Education. This approval verifies that ACI programs are in line with the National Curriculum and are then supported by the school administration.

ACI also works under the supervision of the Kenyan Bureau of Standards. Every large school / community filter system must be tested and approved prior to ACI delivering water for consumption by the public. Receiving the KEBS approval for ACI Water filtration products provides the CDE's and ACI with government verification / approval and instills confidence for the end user in the quality of ACI products.

Ancillary Activities

By providing Point Of Use (POU) water filtration systems, end users do not have to purchase or collect as much firewood to boil their water. This provides more time for the mothers to work in their gardens or take care of other duties. In addition, fewer trees are destroyed for fuel and fewer trips to the clinic are needed for water born diseases.

By providing access to clean water via schools allows students to remain in class, rather than collecting contaminated water for their daily drinking needs. This results in more time in class with healthier students.

By providing products for entrepreneurs and supporting the initiation of small businesses, ACI supports local men and women to supplement their incomes and provide for their families. This local ownership also allows ACI to reach communities and families where ACI staff would never have the opportunity or time to go.

Monitoring and Evaluation via the CHP's offers ACI in depth insight into the daily struggles of families and their needs. Monthly meetings with the CDE's and CHP's are invaluable for information gathering and idea sharing on how ACI can be more effective at the grass roots level in providing clean water options.

Other Issues

Finances are always at the forefront when working with people in rural areas. Therefore education on the importance of clean water is extremely critical. Once the desire is there for clean water, then affordability and ownership of clean water options is key. Providing business opportunities for entrepreneurs provides ownership and allows the local economy to work all the while bringing clean water to those who can least afford it.

Sustainability

Maintenance Revenue

Household Filters:

Each CDE will be provided with 10 household filters as a micro-loan for sale in their respective communities and towns. Once the sales and installations have been made, the CDE will keep the agreed upon profit, and repay ACI for the materials cost. ACI will then use the money to resupply the CDE with 10 additional filters, thus creating a revolving fund for continued sales and self-sustainability.

School Facility Systems:
For every ACI product placed in a school, ACI requires a commitment on the part of the recipient and a signed agreement. If the school does not keep to the agreement, the ACI reserves the right to remove the equipment and place it at another school.
With the Facility Unit, daily maintenance is simple and does not cost anything as the unit is designed with 2 filters and can thus backwash each other. School personnel will be trained to maintain the filter units. These filter units are robust and should last for 5+ years prior to needing replacement cartridges.
Schools will be encouraged to provide clean water to their community members for a small fee. Any revenue generated from the sale of clean water will be used for purchasing replacement cartridges from the CDE's, as needed.
ACI will conduct official semi annual visits for Facility Units from CHP's and 1 month thorough evaluations for all household units from CHP's.

Maintenance Cost

$150

Metrics

CHP's will conduct evaluations on each ACI household filter and facility filter. The 44 question evaluation form will focus on product durability, customer satisfaction, water quality, health impact on family, and financial savings from reduced clinic visits and less need for burning firewood.

The initial evaluations for the household units will take place 1 month after the product has been installed. Additional follow up visits will take place as needed. Facility units will be informally checked monthly during the CHP's school health and hygiene clubs. If any issues are noticed, the Facility Unit specialist will be required to provide necessary maintenance or re-training for staff. If problems persist, then the unit will be removed and placed in another school where it will be used appropriately.

Financial

Cost

$64,500

See attachment

Co-funding

$14,000

Aqua Clara and its corporate sponsors will cover 14000 of the project to help cover overhead expenses.

Community Contribution

$500

Each school will be asked to invest $100 in the training and installation of the Facility Unit.

Funds Requested

$50,000

Files

Discussion

start date and end date
Please Can you try to put it clear on start date and end date of your project which is showing (2013-11-01 to 2013-10-31).
Thanks
Msigwa
Posted by Iskaka Msigwa, Tanzania Mission to the Poor and Disabled (PADI), on August 19, 2013 at 8:42am
Thanks Msingwa, I'll get that sorted.
Cheers
Paul
Posted by Paul Kaufman, Aqua Clara International, on August 19, 2013 at 3:48pm Submitter Comment
Filter design
Would you supply us with the design to the hollow filter design and any information concerning the bacterial counts in and out of the filters?What is the expected life of the filter before cleaning and/or replacement. Who will be responsible for the maintenance and replacement of the filters presently and who would be responsible if ACI should leave the scene?

What are the specifics of the loans for the filters?
Posted by Lynn Roberts, Agua Para La Salud (APLS), on August 19, 2013 at 4:05pm
Thanks for the interest Lynn. The design for the filters are relatively simple. The household filter unit is housed in PVC with water tight O-rings, and attached to a tap through the wall of a 20 liter bucket. These units are then backwashed via a syringe filled with clean water. We recommend the household user backwash the unit every 3-5 days depending on how clogged the filter becomes to keep the flow rate reasonable. The end user will be responsible for backwashing this unit, and will find it necessary as the flow rate decreases. After several flushes, the flow rate will increase close to its original level of 1 liter per minute.

The Facility Unit is designed with 2 filters and a simple system of valves. By closing and opening valves, the filter on the right will backwash the filter on the left, and vice versa. (see the picture of the unit at the tanzania school) Some of these units will require a Sand Prefilter, depending on the turbidity of the incoming water. The clearer the water reaching the HF membranes, the longer they will last.

The school personnel will be trained to do a daily backwash of 10 liters per filter. This water can then be used in the garden or for cleaning floors etc. ACI Health and Hygiene workers provide monthly classes the schools and will monitor the filters for at least 1 year. If the H&H worker notices it is not being maintained, we will provide additional training. IF it is still not maintained, we will then remove the filter and install it in another school.

With proper maintenance, we believe these filters will last for more than 5 years prior to needing a replacement. We have tested a household filter for 3 years in Kenya with positive results, and the facility units for 2 years with no issues thus far.

If you would like the schematics, please contact my personal email address and i'll connect you with our engineer. pkaufman@aquaclara.org

Replacement filters will have to be provided by the ACI office through the entrepreneurs at the moment as we have not yet found a local source for the Hollow Fiber units. However, we are in discussions with Davis and Shirtliff, and Iron Mongers, two large water filtration compaies in Kenya , to have them import the filter units and housings, thus providing a local source. All other materials are sourced locally.

Filter Loans: We provide the 40 entrepreneurs a set of 10 filters as their micro loan. During the monthly meetings, the entrepreneurs turn in their sales slips and reimburse ACI the agreed upon amount for the filter. ACI then restocks the entrepreneurs supply using the rotating fund.

Bacteria Counts:
Our lab results have produced the following for 1ml sample of local lake water:
IN: E coli = 10 Coliforms = 140+
OUT: E coli = 0 Coliforms = 0

The Kenyan Bureau of Standards have tested our Hollow Fiber facility unit at a local school and found 0 across the board, granting us approval to provide drinking water to the local school and community. (See new attachment of KEBS Results)

Posted by Paul Kaufman, Aqua Clara International, on August 20, 2013 at 8:49pm Submitter Comment
Thanks for the query Lia. Our system is quite simple as we provide the initial set of materials for the entrepreneurs to use and sell. They then reimburse ACI office after the sale of the filters in their communities and ACI then restocks their supply with more materials.
Posted by Paul Kaufman, Aqua Clara International, on August 21, 2013 at 3:41pm Submitter Comment
Supply Chain
Could you explain in a little more detail how the revolving fund works for sustainability? Is ACI the supply chain for these filters or can schools buy them locally?
Posted by Lia Marshall, Blue Planet Network, on August 19, 2013 at 6:36pm
At the moment, ACI is the source / supply chain for the entrepreneurs and their products. ACI has contracts with large suppliers and can thus receive local products at a reduced rate, allowing the entrepreneurs to sell these products for less and still receive a small profit. ALL of the products are found locally, except for the Hollow Fiber filters themselves. However, as i explained to Lynn, we are working with several larger companies to have them start importing these filters into Kenya, which would eliminate our need to import anything.
IF ACI Kenya office were to close down, the entrepreneurs would then still be able to purchase everything locally, and continue their businesses.
Posted by Paul Kaufman, Aqua Clara International, on August 21, 2013 at 3:47pm Submitter Comment
You may wish to look into the group in Guatemala. This technology may be able to help in your area rather than import filters. This also creates local work and cash flows.
Posted by Lynn Roberts, Agua Para La Salud (APLS), on August 22, 2013 at 5:49pm
Thanks Lynn. You are dead on as we plan to do just that with the hollow fiber filters.
Regarding the clay pot filters....We have worked with these filters in the Dominican Republic and they are excellent, produce great water with little maintenance. They are also available in Tanzania where i have friends that use them. However, the down side is that they are heavy, break easily during transport, or even during regular cleaning, and only produce 2 liters per hour. Otherwise, a very good option and would recommend them 100%.

I also believe the Hollow Fiber filter is an excellent option which will appeal to rural and urban settings. The Hollow Fiber Household units weigh less than 3lbs (without bucket), is inserted in industrial strength PVC, will produce 1 liter per minute, and should last up to 5 years without having to be replaced. We plan to start building the entire unit in Kenya, like our Biosand filters are, once we've sorted out importing the cartridge, as everything else is available locally already. We should have that done by the end of the year and have production underway in 2014....thus creating more local jobs, cash flow, and a product that the lower to upper economic classes will wish to purchase.....making ACI Kenya Office and CDE's self - sustainable.

This initial group of filters is the first step in making that happen:)
Posted by Paul Kaufman, Aqua Clara International, on August 22, 2013 at 9:48pm Submitter Comment
Community Ownership/Leadership
How are schools encouraged to keep the commitment that they sign? (What are they committing to?) Have you had to remove water systems before? Do warnings help? Specifically, if cartridges only need to be replaced every five years, how do you ensure that someone will remember to replace it?
Posted by Lia Marshall, Blue Planet Network, on August 19, 2013 at 6:41pm
The schools are committed to maintain any products ACI has installed, and allow the ACI Health and Hygiene worker to provide after school Health Clubs for the students. The local chiefs, village administrator, or ministry of education officer, is also included in the agreement. IF there is a problem with a school, we speak first with the school administrator. If the problem persists, we approach the village, or Min. of Ed. representative and ask for their assistance in resolving the problem. To date, we have not had to remove any water systems, but have had several interventions with schools and administrators.

Cartridge Replacement: The HF cartridges have 0.2 micron holes which will eventually get clogged up. Consistent backwashing will prolong the life of the filter and allow it to work for an extended period of time....but as the pores begin to clog and will no longer flush out with the scheduled maintenance, the flow rate decreases.
Once the flow rate slows to an undesirable speed, the school will be forced to replace the filter cartridge.
Posted by Paul Kaufman, Aqua Clara International, on August 21, 2013 at 3:55pm Submitter Comment
Repair and Sustainability Plan
This looks like a great technology and a well thought-through implementation plan. You mention CDE's will be trained to be part of troubleshooting and potential redesign. This shows that you have thought through that next step when the system begins to break down. Along the lines of Lia Marshall's question, when a system breaks down for some reason, do households know where they can buy replacement parts, and are there locally-trained technicians, whom the households are aware of, who can repair the systems in the future?
Secondly, have you had any experience implementing this kind of a program in the past where you have been able to see how well it works and if households generally maintain the system even after the first issues occur?

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to learning more about your program.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on August 21, 2013 at 4:02pm
Thanks for the questions and encouragement Julie. Yes, we have been working with this model of implementation for over 4 years in Kenya, starting with biosand filters, and have been quite successful thus far. Each CDE was chosen and approved by their community and recommended by the village chiefs, school administration, and local police chief. This ensures we are working with men and women who are well known and respected throughout their villages. Once the CDE's have been trained, ACI initiates his/her business via a Marketing Campaign at the hosting school. Everyone (students, parents, chiefs, etc) is invited to the 'Business Launch' where the CDE is introduced, products explained, and prices are set. If people are then keen on purchasing any products, they contact the CDE for installation.
Once a month, the CDE returns the sales slips of the ACI products to ACI. ACI Tracks each of its products, and then sends another community member, the CHP (community Health Promoter) to each recipient. She then conducts a 44 question evaluation to ensure the end user understands the product, how it works, how to maintain it, etc. She also provides the end user with basic H&H information on hand washing, sanitation, etc. The end user then personally knows the CHP, the CDE, has their phone numbers, as well as the ACI office contact numbers in case there are any issues. If issues arise, she contacts the CDE first, as it is his business, and his responsibility to resolve the issue.

We have found that households who are willing to spend the money to purchase a water filter, will do their best to maintain it as it is saving them money or time on firewood collection, and health care costs for their family. With this in mind, they usually will pursue the CDE or CHP for assistance if necessary.

I hope this helps answer your questions, and let me know if you need more clarification.
Regards
Paul
Posted by Paul Kaufman, Aqua Clara International, on August 21, 2013 at 4:48pm Submitter Comment
Backwashing
Paul and ACI team. Congratulations on a well thought out program that has many of the elements I would look for in a plan - a technology that has at least labratory testing, a plan that helps to build a foundation of sustinability, a system that meets that fits the context (i.e. those with access to water but inadequate quality water), an approach to introduce, monitor, assess results and adapt if needed. Thanks also to colleagues that have asked some good questions.

My main concern which I'm sure you have considered and have some experience with is on the behavioral change side - particularly the backwashing which requires performance multiple times per week. Getting a high level of compliance can be challenging - especially for something that they can't particularly see. Have you given any thought on how you can achieve and sustain high levels of maintenance at the household level. If they are not backwashed regularly, what happens to the filter (does it clog?) and is there potential that unmaintained filters could actually increase contamination? You've also proposed using syringes to flush out the filter. Who would provide those syringes - do they come as part of the system purchased?

Posted by Chris Bessenecker, PCI, on September 11, 2013 at 10:07pm
Chris, thank you for your kind words and touching on one of the most difficult issues we all face.... behavioral change.

As you mentioned, maintenance and care with any newly introduced product is not easy to instill and does take time. Our program gives us contact with the end user 2-3 times over the period of a year which does help in reiterating the importance of maintenance. Using local community vendors and health workers also provides access to information if the end user needs.
The filter IS supplied complete with bucket and syringe from the local entrepreneurs who sell, install, and train the end user on use and maintenance. There is also a sticker placed on the bucket with maintenance instructions and pictures to remind the user how it is to be done. As mentioned in the proposal, every filter is visited at least 1 month after installation by the Community Health Promoter (CHP) who conducts a 40+ question evaluation and provides additional training and review of maintenance procedures if needed.

However, there is only so much we can afford to do, so at the end of the day, it is still up to the end user to comply with the instructions to clean the filter on a regular basis. All of our filters are sold to the end user, which also gives them more of an incentive to maintain it and contact us if it fails.

When the user does backwash it, they will see some residue being cleaned out (see attached pics of filter in Santiago, Dominican Republic, used by our Rep. there) If the filter is not maintained, it will NOT increase contamination, but rather slow the flow rate until it clogs completely.

Chris, as you know, there is no 'silver bullet' solution, but we have found this to be a very high quality option which will benefit many people in both rural and urban settings.

FYI, I use this filter when traveling, as do our US and in country staff.

I hope this has answered your questions Chris. If you do have more query's, please don't hesitate to ask here on PWX, or to contact me directly. Pkaufman@aquaclara.org
Posted by Paul Kaufman, Aqua Clara International, on September 12, 2013 at 5:00pm Submitter Comment
Thanks Paul. Appreciate your response.
Posted by Chris Bessenecker, PCI, on September 12, 2013 at 5:23pm
Just uploaded some pics for you Chris.
Posted by Paul Kaufman, Aqua Clara International, on September 12, 2013 at 6:02pm Submitter Comment
Backwashing
Hi Paul & team,

You note that backwashing takes 10L for school filters, how much does it take for household?

What happens to the school filter operation if backwashing does not happen daily? Are there any obvious changes? Do you expect the survey to be enough to determine if a school is not complying?

What about household filters? Do they have to be backwashed daily or dependent on use? How would the latter be determined?

Thanks,
Rajesh
Posted by Georgia Davis, Blue Planet Network, on September 14, 2013 at 8:58pm
Hello Rajesh,

Thank you for the questions and pointing out some important areas of training during installation.

We recommend that the facility filter be 'backwashed' daily, 10 liters per filter = 20 liters total per unit. The school can measure this amount easily by backwashing into a 20 liter bucket, 1/2 for each side.
IF backwashing does not happen, the flow rate eventually begins to slow down as the 0.2 micron pores fill with bacteria and other matter.
The initial Filter Survey will only show if the maintenance personnel / teachers / Administration understand how to use it, and also allow us to verify that students are using it and benefiting from clean water daily. However, as our CDE's and CHP's are in the schools on a monthly basis, they bring back reports to our monthly meetings on what they observe. In addition, we will be conducting annual water tests on each facility filter to ensure they are still producing KEBS approved drinking water....allowing us to thoroughly evaluate the compliance of each school.

The maintenance instructions placed on each household filter require the end user to backwash the filter daily. We understand that this will probably not happen, however, we hope that it will happen at least weekly. We recommend 3-6 flushes with the syringe each time, depending on how clogged they are.

Similar to the Facility Filter, lack of cleaning will result in slower flow rate due to clogging of the pores....which is a direct result of quantity of water passing through and quality of water passing through. The more water, and the worse the quality of the water, the slower the flow rate, requiring maintenance more often.

I hope this has helped to answer your questions Rajesh.
Regards
Paul
Posted by Paul Kaufman, Aqua Clara International, on September 17, 2013 at 6:14pm Submitter Comment
Monitoring of historical projects
Hello Paul,
The above discussions show that ACL is really working hard in the target area of Kenya to bring potable water in the schools and communities. The pictures that are uploaded on some of the projects also speak for themselves. However it seems that all the 15 school projects of last year are running late. Are the reasons for delay as reported on Aug 2013 against project 913 (overall project report) applicable to all the other 14 schools? What is the status of these projects in respect of its completion? Would you be able to implement more projects next year and complete them all together without increasing manpower? Can your staff train the school authorities and communities on SMS system? Do they have cell phones in the area where you work? It is worth spending funds on going back to all the historical projects at least twice a year to develop tracking reports. Overall your work in Kenya overcoming all sorts of constraints is commendable. Thank you in advance for answering these queries.
Meera
Posted by Meera Hira-Smith, Project Well, on September 17, 2013 at 10:24pm
Meera,
Great questions and observations, thank you.

You are correct, The Schools for Water program was one grant targeting 16 new schools. This grant has been delayed due to several unforeseen circumstances. 2013 has been an excellent year in streamlining our programs, office, staffing, etc, but in doing so caused some of our focus to be shared. In January we closed our Eldoret office, moving all staff and equipment to our Kisii office focusing on becoming self sustainable and cutting our costs. Shortly thereafter, Kenya went through elections in March which virtually shut down much of our ability to work for 2 months. In May, our program manager was offered another position with a larger NGO, which he took, leaving us with a void. This was then followed by a nationwide teachers strike, closing all of the schools for several months. All of these things set us back a couple of months and have been frustrating for all involved, as you can imagine.

However, on the positive side, the CDE / CHP Training, biosand filter business launches, school launches, and H&H programs were implemented in 2012 and continuing on now. The tanks were previously ordered and are on hold; we completed the Rain Water Harvesting training for the CDE's in June; gutters and cement slabs completed in July - August; and tanks are being delivered and installed school by school as we speak. Our CDE's / ACI Staff will have all 16 schools completed within the next 4 weeks and the PWX site will be updated with complete reports. Stay tuned:)

By end of October, we will have completed all of our current grant commitments and are looking forward to continuing our school support and small business support with upcoming grants in 2013-14 to launch our new Hollow Fiber filters. We don't foresee any need for additional hires with previous grants 90% completed.

The data collection system we are implementing will be undertaken by our Community Health Promoters (CHP's) via a smart phone. The new app. will be uploaded onto 5 Android office phones. These phones will be assigned to the CHPs to use during their evaluations and then returned to the office for the next group of CHP's to use. The data can be entered in any location, and once the CHP is within cell phone range, the data automatically uploads to our database. These will not be provided to the school authorities, or communities as we cannot monitor the equipment or verify the information being received. Having our own staff members do all monitoring and evaluations allows us to gain clearer and more exact information.

As you mentioned, it does cost money to follow up, initially, and annually. However, these follow up measures have been invaluable in helping us to improve our ability to provide appropriate services as well as improve our products. Without the continued presence and follow up of the local ACI Businessmen, the Health workers, and our local staff, i'm sure this program would not have been as successful as it has been thus far. PWX has also been key in supporting the initial stages of Aqua Clara, and we look forward to continued partnership as we grow into the next phase; Hollow Fiber filtration:)
Thank you again Meera. I hope this has helped answer some of your questions. Please don't hesitate to let me know if I failed to be clear in any area.
Regards
Paul
Posted by Paul Kaufman, Aqua Clara International, on September 18, 2013 at 7:14pm Submitter Comment
Thanks for this detailed response that is clearly not from a book. Wish you all the best with your work.
Posted by Meera Hira-Smith, Project Well, on September 27, 2013 at 9:53pm
I want to make the ACI team aware that we have an Android app that can capture notes (including GPS) and data that populates PWX MetriX.

No need for every org to build IT infrastructure, they can have more resources to focus on their core work.
Posted by Georgia Davis, Blue Planet Network, on October 3, 2013 at 5:12am
Thanks Rajesh,

Where can I find the app? I'd love to try it out, especially with the new Hollow Fiber filters, and community systems.

Regards
Paul
Posted by Paul Kaufman, Aqua Clara International, on October 3, 2013 at 1:54pm Submitter Comment
Check out the google play store for PWX. We have 2 apps: one connects to our demo server and so you (and staff) can play around. The main one connects to our real server and you can train your field staff and start using it.

As usual, we are there to help, accept feedback, and improve.

Regards,
Rajesh
Posted by Georgia Davis, Blue Planet Network, on October 3, 2013 at 5:27pm

Ratings

9
Given the difficulties in developing community based water treatment facilities in populations at risk, the use of individual filters is probably the best method I have observed to solve water contamination levels. The individual user is generally more motivated to maintain the system for their own benefit. This maintenance requires an easy source of supplies or replacement parts and constant education to support the individual user.
ACI appears to be developing these avenues of support in an organized manner. The addition of the profit motive in the local purveyors of the filters could result in a good cottage business if there is put in place a permanent supply of filters. The long supply lines for the filters is a concern in the process is ACI is not active in the future.
Log in to see the author of this rating!
7
The proposal is well-thought out and the discussion has been open.

The sustainability is related to water and not to the actual work.

I would like to see metrics related to how many folks got trained, how many made it a source of livelihood, how many just provide filters to friends and family, and how many dropped out. That will help include the actual training and revolving fund (it needs to be tracked too) in the focus for learning, evolving, and sharing.

For tracking purposes (and maybe even for implementation), the project needs to be clearly separated into the CDE and School parts.
Log in to see the author of this rating!
10
Aqua Clara has a standing presence in the community and a long history of success. I am confident this project will succeed and look forward to hearing of that success.
Log in to see the author of this rating!
9
This program seems to incorporate aspects ensuring sustainability and community ownership. The hygiene and sanitation training appears minor, but present. I applaud Aqua Clara's creative technology and commitment to sustainability.
Log in to see the author of this rating!
8
The technology employed may be good to adopt it.
Log in to see the author of this rating!
8
Good work in one of most difficult regions in the world. Follow-up of each project is crucial. This proposal qualify for 8.5.
Log in to see the author of this rating!
7
I think the technology they're using is reliable and has stated in Q&A more dependable then ceramic pots. Since they have a good community support system they are creating with the sellers and tech support, the technology shouldn't be a big burden on the users. I'm not sure if the micro-loans to buy the filters is truly sustainable so in the long run, the project might run into financial problems.
Log in to see the author of this rating!
7
I think the project design for what it is trying to accomplish is fairly well thought out and at a cost of $12/pp (over a 5 year life span) is a fairly cost effective project for improving water quality.
Log in to see the author of this rating!

Projects