: Schools for Water 2012

Applicant Aqua Clara International Plan ID: 398
Status: approved_accepted Review Cycle end date: 2012-09-07

Discussion Forum

Metrics and long-term assessment

By Peer Water Exchange Posted on Wed 15 Aug 2012, about 8 years ago

Are you already tracking any of the metrics you have listed?

For example, are you tracking:
- filter & RWH unit sales over time
- water quality over time

Would be great to see how the design of our metrics tracking feature would meet your needs.

Also, do you track any health metrics at schools or in your communities?


Metrics and long-term assessment

By Aqua Clara International Posted on Wed 15 Aug 2012, about 8 years ago

Hello Rajesh,

Thanks for the questions and comments.

Yes, we are already tracking filter sales in both Eldoret and Kisii. This helps us to see which CDE's and Schools are doing well and which ones are not. For those CDE's which are not selling many filters, we follow up with them and provide them with one on one additional training if needed. Several of them have dropped out of the program, and they have then been replaced by another CDE chosen by the community.

Our RWH installation for the initial 20 schools will be done soon and we now have several CDE's in Kisii that are fully trained to install these units on their own. However, we have not initiated this part of the program, but plan to do so over the next few months.

For every CDE producing BSF's, ACi will randomly test their units to see how well they are performing. If we find that one CDE's units are underperforming, then ACI follows up to see what the issues are and will try to rectify them and provide additional training for the CDE. For those units that are not producing clean water, or have any other issues, the CDE who installed them is then required to re-install the filter or fix problem. ACI then follows up with regular evaluations.

At the moment, we do not have any clear system in place to track the health of the students at the schools or in the communities. However, our feedback from both the schools and the communities has been very positive.

Re: Metrics and long-term assessment

By Peer Water Exchange Posted on Wed 15 Aug 2012, about 8 years ago

This is good news Paul, would you be interested in trialing our new feature to track these metrics? Both to collect data via web and SMS and to display trends over time. We plan to be ready by end-September.


Re: Metrics and long-term assessment

By Aqua Clara International Posted on Thu 16 Aug 2012, about 8 years ago

Hello Rajesh,
I'm looking forward to seeing the new tracking metrics and will definitely give it a trial run. It may be exactly what we're looking for:)


questions re: Schools for Water

By Etta Projects Posted on Thu 26 Jul 2012, about 8 years ago

Overall, I think you have a great project. I really like the community-driven education component incorporated in the project model and that you are incorporating so many community members in the project’s activities. I also appreciate the involvement of schools in the U.S.

In reviewing the application, I’d like to pose a few additional questions.

First, how are the CDEs and CHPs elected? Can you provide more details on their training program? Do the CHPs receive a stipend for their work?

Is the CHP the only person responsible for training the youth clubs? How long are the clubs expected to be maintained? I think it’s a great concept, and would love to learn more about this.

Also, what is the sale price of the products? Do you have a payment plan for families and schools to make the products more affordable? Can you elaborate on the filters, useful life, maintenance requirements and costs? At schools, who is responsible for the upkeep of the products? What are the sustainability rates of some of the first projects? Also, can you explain your hand washing station model?


Katie Chandler
Etta projects

questions re: Schools for Water

By Aqua Clara International Posted on Fri 27 Jul 2012, about 8 years ago

Thank you for your comments and encouragement Katie. I'm happy to fill you in on some of the details of our program and answer your queries.

Once a school has been selected, ACI meets with the school administration, parents committee, and the village elders / chiefs, and explains the program and their responsibilities. These school and village leaders then choose the CHP and CDE's from their community and send them to the training on the proposed dates.

Our trainings are usually 6-7 days long encompassing general awareness of water issues locally and worldwide, and the need and benefits of clean water. The CDE's and CHP's then split into separate groups for more specific training. The CDE's receive comprehensive training on the biosand filter, construction, installation, maintenance, and also marketing and sales. The CHPs receive comprehensive Health and Hygiene training and teaching skills, games, and activities for presentation in the homes and schools. Once everyone is together again, the program protocol is clearly explained, jobs and tasks, and responsibilities handed out.

CDE's do not receive a stipend as they make a small profit on the sale of each filter and other products. The CHP's however, do receive a stipend as they monitor the CDE's work, run the school clubs, and carry out evaluations of the filters in the field.

The schools are responsible for running the clubs under the supervision of one of the teachers while the CHP provides additional material and lessons during their monthly visits. The schools are also responsible for maintaining the biosand filters as well as the rain water harvesting tanks and hand washing stations. The hand washing stations are small mobile water tanks which are placed near the latrines. These are filled with water daily by the teachers or students and moved indoors in the evening for safety. ACI retains the right to remove any of these components from the school and place them in another school if they are not being properly used or maintained.

In Kenya, we are selling the biosand filters at around $13 - 15 per filter. WIth such a low cost, the families do not need a payment plan and begin to save money within a month of purchase. These filters are designed to last upwards of 10 years and the only maintenance required is to clean the top layer of sand when the flow rate is too slow (usually every 3 to 6 months), and also to keep the exit spout clean.

Thus far, the sale and installation of filters has gone very well which has produced enough money to keep the CDE program running. The current rain water harvesting tanks from the previous grant have only been in use for the past 6-9 months with positive feedback from the schools and with no maintenance issues yet.
A nice update on the Training Center and Office is available on our webpage.

I hope this helps clarify things a bit and look forward to your feedback.
Kind Regards

questions re: Schools for Water

By Global Women's Water Initiative Posted on Fri 27 Jul 2012, about 8 years ago

WOW! How did you get the costs of a BSF to $13-$15? I've never encountered that price anywhere in the world! What's your secret?

questions re: Schools for Water

By Aqua Clara International Posted on Mon 30 Jul 2012, about 8 years ago

Hello Gemma,

Thank you for your comments. There is no secret, but rather collaboration with the CDE, the School, and the Purchaser. Our goal is to keep the costs to a minimum so that every family can afford to have clean drinking water. For this reason, we only charge for the cost of the materials and add on an approximate $3 profit margin for the CDE / salesman.

At the moment, we source all of our materials locally; sand, stones, pvc, plastic barrels, etc. which are purchased from nearby vendors or from Nairobi, Nakuru, or Kisumu. We purchase them at discounted prices in bulk and have them delivered to the school sites where our CDE's then sift and wash the sand and construct the filters with the help of the families who are purchasing the filter. The families must help in the process and are then also responsible for helping the CDE to transport the filter materials to their homes for installation. This eliminates final transport and labour, keeps the costs down, and allows the family to be a part of the process as well as learn exactly how the filter works during the build.

The only subsidy ACI provides is the costs for transportation of sand from Nakuru to the school sites. One of our goals for 2013 - 15 is to produce enough revenue coming in via programs and products being sold through our ACI offices so that these costs can be covered 100% in country, thus eliminating our need for outside funding.

Below is our current pricing for each item to build 1 filter. All prices are in KES

1 / 75 Litre Jerry Can = 395
1M / 1/2" Pipe = 26.67
2 Elbows = 20
Ballast = 41.54
Coarse Sand = 45.31
Fine Sand = 457.14
Exit Pipe Bend = 20
ACX = 83
Labels = 27.39
Bucket Diffuser = 95

Our average costs for a filter without transportation is KES 1200. ($14)
Our average costs for a filter WITH transportation is KES 1600. ($20)

I hope this helps answer your question Gemma. Thank you again for your query

Kind Regards

questions re: Schools for Water

By Global Women's Water Initiative Posted on Mon 06 Aug 2012, about 8 years ago

Wow, that's really impressive that even charging for the price of the materials its still only $15! Do you construct the pre-2008 version or the post-2008 version of the BSF? I don't see the cost of cement in there.

We have some local women in Naivasha and Kilili building BSFs and their price is nowhere near as low as those.

Thanks for your info.

Btw, who trained your team to build the filters? Do you have local women who know how to build and train? We're always looking for some good grassroots women trainers to train the women who participate in our workshops.

Good luck.

questions re: Schools for Water

By Aqua Clara International Posted on Mon 06 Aug 2012, about 8 years ago

Thank you Gemma,

Since 2004, Aqua Clara has been building and testing different types of BSF's. Our founder, a retired DOW Chemical scientist, began to see how we could reduce the costs of cement filters and built several different types of filters using plastic containers, PVC, and Cement. He then ran tests using raw sewage from the local treatment plant on several types of BSF's. He found that almost all of the types of containers he used produced similar results. The container material was irrelevant, but did find that size of container is important and specifically the size, type, and cleanliness of the sand used.

With this info, we are now building BSF's with 75-100 liter plastic water barrels that are made in Kenya which keep our costs to around $15. We are not using any cement as it is quite expensive, heavy, time consuming to build, and difficult to move. Using plastic is cheaper and makes it very easy for 1 person to transport the necessary materials to a home for installation on a bicycle if necessary. We have also found that the BSF's work BEST with only 40-60 liters of water a day as this allows the biofilm time to work.

Aqua Clara Kenya now conducts full trainings for our CDE's at our center in Kisii and Eldoret using a mix of ACI and CAWST materials. We have a great relationship with CAWST and our staff have all attended CASWT trainings as well.

Thank you again,

Application Summary

Applicant :   Aqua Clara International
Status : approved_accepted
Country : KENYA Map


Amount Funded :   $90,000
Funded By:-
Schools for Water : $90,000
Funds Used
: $89,994
Funds Available
: $6

Projects Summary of Application

Number of Projects : 18
Overall Start Date : TODO!
Overall Completion Date : TODO!
Date of Last Update : 2013-08-13