Statistics show that 65 percent of the over 30 million people in the Niger Delta live in villages and generally rural communities without access to safe potable water, therefore resorting to unhygienic methods of ‘purifying’ polluted water for drinking. Many communities across the Niger Delta struggle with disease due to unsafe water; every 20 seconds a child dies from water-related illness. PIND in partnership with Rotary Club of Oxbow Lake Yenagoa; Rotary District 9140, Nigeria; Rotary Club of Parkdale, High Park, Toronto, Canada; Rotary District 7070, Canada as well as Dodo River Communities of Bayelsa came up with the Biosand Filter Project to address the problem of access to safe drinking water in most rural communities in the Niger Delta.
The Biosand Filter (BSF) is a simple device made up of a bucket or barrel, sand, fine gravel and coarse gravel placed in a large plastic container. Water is poured into the top and slowly passes through the sand and gravel. By keeping the contents wet, a biofilm develops, which removes 99% of impurities from the water. This process improves the quality of the water.
The benefits of the biosand filter include its simplicity and affordability as a means of making water safe for drinking and the elimination of numerous diseases often associated with the common sources of water in the oil-rich region. The filter can be made with local materials, is inexpensive and easy to maintain, and can last for many years in this environment. Furthermore, the BSF guarantees the improved health of users as it reduces WASH-related diseases as well as the rate of indoor air pollution (IAP) associated with wood and charcoal fuel commonly used to boil water for drinking. Income could also be earned by communities through ‘carbon credits’ as the BSF leads to reduction in, or elimination of, carbon emissions associated with firewood, charcoal fuel and fossil fuel used to boil water.
The BSF project is aimed at providing clean drinkable water through the installation of 1,200 Biosand Filters in each household in the five communities located in Dodo River Communities Rural Development Association, namely Amatu I, Amatu II, Bilabiri I, Bilabiri II and Bisangbene in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The project will also provide training on the use and maintenance of filters, safe water storage, hygiene and sanitation. In due course, the BSF project is expected to spread to numerous communities across the Niger Delta.
PIND’s ATED team offers courses in biosand filter construction, use and maintenance. If you are interested in our courses, please contact Timi Kiakubu. You can buy filters from social enterprises that are springing up in the Niger Delta selling and installing filters. If you are interested in buying a filter, email, text or call one of these suppliers: