plan 398Schools for Water 2012

Summary

Katie Spotz has challenged schools in the US to raise funds to implement safe water programs in 12 new Aqua Clara partner schools and establish 12 new micro-enterprises. Fairmount Minerals is
matching the donations up to $40,000.

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Background

Aqua Clara International (ACI) has been working in the Kisii region of Kenya since June 2009 and based on program success in the Kisii region, launched a second program region in the rural areas around Eldoret in early 2011. The Kisii region is a hilly and densely populated area with fairly regular and consistent rainfall. The rural areas around Eldoret are comparatively more sparsely populated and the dry seasons tend to be longer. The walk for water and subsequent challenge of treating water are daily struggles for school children and women in both regions.

ACI is currently working in 36 schools across the two regions and there is significant demand for project expansion from neighboring schools and communities. [See 'Approach and Technology' section for more detail on the ACI program model.]

The most common water sources in the Kisii area are springs (both protected and unprotected) as well as surface water. From our survey information, we have found that the average length of time that it takes people to walk to and from their water source is around 45+ minutes. When families or schools are large, multiple trips are necessary to provide sufficient water for their needs. Women and young girls are the people who bear most of the burden for collecting water that results in lost time at school or other important activities. The most common water sources in the Eldoret region are shallow wells and surface water. Our test results on a wide range of water sources in both regions have shown high levels of bacteriological contamination.

Water borne diseases such as amoeba, typhoid, diarrhea and giardia are still very common in both areas - this information is based upon discussions with staff at rural clinics and reports from ACI staff and Community Health Promoters (CHPs). Local people understand that water treatment is important, but with the rising cost and scarcity of firewood and charcoal, families and schools in particular find it more difficult to boil their drinking water. [Boiling is the most common water treatment of choice in both regions.] The locally made, ACI biosand water filters have proven to be a popular and convenient way of treating water, but the demand currently outstrips what the Community Development Entrepreneurs (CDEs) are able to satisfy. It is also obvious that water filtration is not enough. Hygiene education is also a very pressing need in both regions, especially for school children and women.

In both regions, we have observed that some of the schools and households have rudimentary rainwater harvesting systems that help to lessen the burden of the daily search for water during the rainy seasons. The rainwater tanks that we have come across are typically in poor condition with open or rusting collection containers, leaky gutters and no way to flush or clean the container. The costs to get good rainwater harvesting units to the rural areas are often prohibitively expensive for rural people. There are several layers of 'middle men' throughout the supply chain that increase the costs substantially. Our tests on the rainwater, although better than the ground and surface water tests still show significant bacteriological contamination.

In 2010 thanks to funding through Blue Planet Network, ACI was able to establish a WASH Training Center in the Kisii region as well as train and launch a number of new filter producing businesses. Currently, ACI has 36 Community Development Entrepreneurs (CDEs) in the Kenya who are actively constructing, marketing, selling and maintaining ACI biosand water filters, hand washing stations and safe water storage containers. ACI also has a network of 23 Community Health Promoters (CHPs) who actively oversee the work of the CDEs as well as providing additional hygiene education to the filter end users and children at the ACI schools.

ACI set up a number of demonstration RWH units at the WASH Training Center and is in the process of training CDEs in the construction and installation of 20 rainwater harvesting systems as ACI schools in both regions. There has been significant local interest in this expansion of this project that requires an upfront investment in training, tools and materials, but thanks to our carbon credit funding, will require little ongoing financial support. The ACI program is intentionally designed to be locally demand driven and we have seen that local demand increase substantially over the past few years.

Location

Rigoma, Kisii County, Kenya

Attachments

  • Pdf Schools_...

Focus

Primary Focus: Rainwater Harvesting
Secondary Focus: Drinking Water - Community

People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 120

Most of the schools have a minimum of 10 Teachers, Administrators, and Support staff. These personnel plus their immediate families will benefit from access to additional sources of water for the school.

School Children Getting Water: 6,000

Within Kisii and Eldoret regions, the average school size is around 500 students per school. Each school will receive Rain Water Harvesting Units to provide an additional water source to the students. They will also receive bio sand filters to provide clean drinking water for the students.

People Getting Sanitation: 0

People Getting Other Benefits: 24

As part of this program, new ACI Community Development Entrepreneurs (CDE) and Community Health Promoters (CHP) will be trained - 1 CDE and 1 CHP per school. They will gain education on water treatment, health and hygiene, the opportunity to earn a supplementary income, construction and water testing skills. As the CDE's construct and sell their filters and RWH tanks in the surrounding community, additional families will receive access to clean water as well.

Application Type: Program Funding

Start Date: 2012-08-02

Completion Date: 2013-08-01

Technology Used:

The ACI program model is based upon the premise that the projects should be locally managed and as locally driven as possible. We train local experts to build WASH products out of locally sourced materials and help them to create locally sustainable small businesses. ACI believes that there should be a local expert available to perform any necessary maintenance and also serve as an easily accessible information resource for the local community.

The ACI Community Development Entrepreneurs (CDEs) are based at rural primary schools - the schools serve as demonstration sites for the ACI products as well as providing secure storage for the raw materials necessary for construction. The school children and teachers benefit by using the WASH products, while also learning about good WASH practice through the ACI led school water and hygiene clubs. Local community members are able to visit the school, see and try the products first hand, potentially buy the product and also learn about good WASH practices.

Currently, the ACI product mix includes household biosand filters, safe water storage containers, hand washing stations and plastic rainwater harvesting systems. Our goal is to increase the product range so that we can best answer the local needs of a community in a sustainable way.

ACI works by training the CDEs and supplying them with sufficient tools and materials for their first set of products. The CDEs then sell these products to their local community and can earn a small profit that is set by ACI. The material cost of the product is repaid into what we call our material resupply bank account - that money then covers the next set of raw materials for the next set of products. This approach is also known as micro-consignment or a revolving loan.

To date, there are over 2,500 biosand water filters in households and schools across the Kisii and Eldoret program regions and every week, our office receives more applications from schools and communities that want to be part of the program.

The ACI biosand filter is constructed using locally available 75 liter plastic containers. When compared with concrete, the plastic containers are easier for the CDEs to work with as well as easier for them to transport either by carrying them to a household or traveling by motorcycle. The concrete biosand filters are a better fit for a centralized operation as working with concrete requires comparatively more expensive molds and more advanced masonry skills.

ACI has set up various sizes of rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems at the WASH Training Center and thanks to funding from Row for Water and MSSCT via PWX, we have installed 4 large scale rainwater harvesting systems at partner schools in the Kisii area - 16 more systems are currently in process. We have worked with a CAWST International Technical Adviser who helped us work through some of the design issues as well as add a simple system to minimize debris getting into the rainwater tank. As with our biosand water filters, we have used locally available plastic containers for the demonstration RWH units. Plastic has the advantages of being easier to work with, cheaper to transport to the end location and of course cheaper to the end user.

Through our work with biosand filters, ACI staff has established relationships with plastics manufacturers and have been able to secure much lower delivered prices on the main components for the rooftop RWH systems. As with the biosand filters, ACI staff manage the RWH supply chain to ensure that quality remains high and that cost remains low. ACI uses the same system of oversight that has been established for the biosand filters to monitor the construction standards and use practices of the RWH units. There is a sound economy of scale in adding additional products to the same oversight and management loop.

The school RWH are similar to the ones that have been set up at the training center. Each system is designed according to the specific needs and roof space availability at the particular school. The systems are also designed to provide 2-3 liters of water per student per school day with adequate storage to provide water during the dry seasons. The school and parents are responsible for constructing the concrete bases for the various rain tanks. Generally, the approach has been to have one large 10,000-liter tank as well as some smaller tanks to demonstrate household sized systems.

ACI has followed the approach of another organization called Waterlines who have substantial experience of implementing RWH systems at schools in a neighboring region near Bomet. The community contribution to the units is around 20%.

Last year, ACI launched school based Water & Hygiene Clubs at each of our partner schools. There were several reasons for this. It is widely known that children are early adopters of new ideas and products and they are in a unique position to help educate their family members at the household level. We have targeted the clubs to be open to children from classes 5-8. Our Community Health Promoters believe that this is a key age as these children are beginning to take more responsibility for the household hygiene and water needs. The schools are the local face of the ACI program and with that in mind, it is important that the various products are properly demonstrated and used. Some of the practical responsibilities of the clubs are to ensure that the biosand filter is used regularly, to clean the safe water storage containers on a daily basis according to ACI training, and to ensure that the hand washing stations have sufficient supply of water and soap.

ACI supports the school Water & Hygiene Clubs through the ACI Community Health Promoters (CHPs). Part of the CHP monthly meeting focuses on the lesson plans for the upcoming month of school club meetings. The Water & Hygiene clubs meet weekly and the CHPs attend the meetings twice per month on alternating weeks to carry out a lesson plan that has been set by ACI. These lessons cover a variety of topics including water treatment options, disease transmission, hand washing, etc and are designed to be practical, informative and fun. On the interim weeks when the CHP is not at the club meetings, it is the club's responsibility to teach what they have learned to another class at the school. This will help reinforce what they have learned while also helping to educate other students at the school.

The schools that are selected for this program become partners with ACI. For example, ACI provides one safe water storage container and one handwashing station per classroom, but only after the school and parents have constructed wooden stands for the products. An important aspect of the partnership agreement between ACI and the school is that the school agrees to ensure that all the products are used and maintained properly according to the high standards set by ACI.

Phases:

1: Select schools; 2:Train a CDE and CHP from each selected school community; 3: Supply tools, materials & launch program at school; 4: Construct rain tank at school & start school clubs; 5:Monitor program

Community Organization:

The ACI model is based on community ownership and local demand for the project. The selection process for the CDE and CHP involves a community nomination process which helps with local accountability - local chiefs, elders, the school parent teacher association and school administration are all involved in selecting the candidates for the CDE and CHP positions. Transfer of ownership of the products is based upon consistent proper use by the schools. The ACI CHPs inspect the various products when they visit the school Water & Hygiene clubs and ensure that the hand washing stations have soap, ensure the biosand filters are in good condition etc. The project and products are highly accessible to the rural community members surrounding the schools as the school is seen as neutral ground. The most important aspect of ownership is that the CDE essentially runs their own small social business - their success is based upon their own motivation and local demand. ACI has found that community members are proud that their biosand filter or safe water storage container is made by a local person.

Government Interaction:

ACI actively works with the local District Education Officer in both regions of operation. The District Education Officer is instrumental in introducing the project to the local schools and ensures that the improved WASH standards in the schools are in line with the Kenyan governmental guidelines. Our WASH Training Center is based at the District Officer's compound in the Kisii region - the space for the center was donated by the District Officer on behalf of the local community. ACI also has a close working relationship with the District Agricultural Officer in the Kisii region who regularly uses the training center and particularly the demonstration Eco San latrines and high yield gardens when she trains local farmers.

Ancillary activities:

The ACI program builds local capacity. CDEs gain job skills in construction, marketing, and business management. CHPs learn how to train key audiences in better WASH practice as well as how to carry out surveys, basic water tests and run school clubs.

Other Issues:

Katie Spotz has supported two Aqua Clara projects through Blue Planet Network's Peer Water Exchange. We were delighted when Katie was able to spend a month with the ACI team in Kenya at the end of 2011. Katie had the opportunity to see the impact that her donations have had on the people in Kenya and she was particularly keen to do something more to help the schools that she visited.

Schools for Water links schools in the US with Aqua Clara schools in rural Kenya. Katie challenged the US schools to raise funds to bring clean water to their Kenyan partner school and we have been amazed by their response. Fairmount Minerals, a long term, committed supporter of the ACI program have committed to match the funds raised by the US students up to $40,000. Schools in the US have raised funds through bake sales, water walks, t shirt sales, food fasts and many other fun and original ideas. Some of the US schools have already connected with their partner Kenyan school through penpal relationships and it has been great to see the US students' awareness of world water issues grow through this campaign. US schools have also received a school profile that describes the current water situation at their partner school in Kenya. The ACI partner schools in rural Kenya are excited about getting access to safe drinking water and hygiene education soon!

Fundraising for this campaign will continue until Memorial Day weekend so after the funds are counted, we will be able to give a final indication of the number of school projects that can be implemented in Kenya. The culmination of the campaign was an educational event held on Memorial Day weekend at the Lake County Captain's home field near Cleveland, Ohio. US students and supporters worked together to break the world record for the largest number of people carrying water on their heads while also continuing to raise awareness for the need for clean water.

Maintenance Revenue:

Our sustainability plan is twofold, one part relating to the operations of the school systems and the other relating to the CDE businesses focused on selling and installing bio-sand filters and home-based rainwater harvesting systems.

Sustainability of the school rainwater harvesting systems will be predicated on their continued effective use in each school. Community Health Promoters will be visiting the schools at least twice per month to run the ACI Schools Water and Hygiene Clubs; during these visits they will also be tasked with checking that the school's system and all the products at the school are being properly used and maintained. The CDEs base their businesses from the school so they will also be there on a regular basis and able to identify any problems that might arise.

The sustainability of the CDE businesses focused on selling and installing home-based rainwater harvesting systems will be based upon keeping our costs low throughout our supply chain, and training more CDEs to respond to local demand in their areas and thus expand the reach and impact of the program. In doing so we will be increasing revenue that will not only support CDEs but also sustain the replenishment of the supply chain to continue their operations. At the same time, we continue to maintain a commitment to local oversight, which, when combined with local pride in Kenyan-constructed systems, will contribute to the sustainability of the effort.

Maintenance Cost: $1,200

Metrics:

Monthly Meetings are held to evaluate the school activities being implemented by the CHPs. In addition, the CDE's will supply monthly reports on sales of filters and RWH unit's made to community families. This information will assist ACI to track the success and impact of the program over time. The ACI office staff is also required to conduct a survey on every new filter as well as provide data on number of filters per community and conduct regular water tests.

Cost: $50,000

The program is broken down into 8 categories in order to implement the multifaceted program. We estimate the initial investment for each school to be around $7300 to cover all of the necessary materials, implementation, and monitoring costs. This program will not only affect thousands of people immediately, but will have an exponential impact on the target communities in the years to come.

Co Funding Amount: $40,000

Fairmount Minerals based in Chardon, Ohio have been long term committed supporters of the ACI program. They have generously agreed to match the donations from the schools involved in the Schools for Water program up to $40,000.

Community Contribution Amount: $250

The school administration and parents association build the various concrete bases for the rainwater harvesting systems, provide some of the timber and labour during the construction process. They also agree to maintain the Rain Water systems and Filtration systems. If maintenance is not carried out, ACI has the right to remove the materials and place them in another school.

Fund Requested: $90,000

Implementing Organization:

Attachments

  • Pdf Schools_...
  • 2 participants | show more

    Metrics and long-term assessment

    Rajesh Shah of Peer Water Exchange

    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? Regards...

    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?

    Regards,
    Rajesh

    • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

      Hello Rajesh, Thanks for the questions and comments. FILTERS: 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 additio...

      Hello Rajesh,

      Thanks for the questions and comments.

      FILTERS:
      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.

      RWH:
      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.

      WATER QUALITY:
      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.

      HEALTH:
      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.

      • Rajesh Shah of Peer Water Exchange

        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. Regards, Rajesh

        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.

        Regards,
        Rajesh

        • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

          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:) Regards Paul

          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:)

          Regards
          Paul

      • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

        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:) Regards Paul

        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:)

        Regards
        Paul

    • Rajesh Shah of Peer Water Exchange

      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. Regards, Rajesh

      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.

      Regards,
      Rajesh

      • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

        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:) Regards Paul

        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:)

        Regards
        Paul

    • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

      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:) Regards Paul

      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:)

      Regards
      Paul

  • 3 participants | show more

    questions re: Schools for Water

    Katie Chandler of Etta Projects

    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 additio...

    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?

    Thanks!

    Katie Chandler
    Etta projects

    • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

      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...

      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
      Paul

      • Gemma Bulos of Global Women's Water Initiative

        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?

        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?

        • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

          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...

          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
          Paul

          • Gemma Bulos of Global Women's Water Initiative

            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...

            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.

            • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

              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 ...

              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,
              Paul

          • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

            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 ...

            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,
            Paul

        • Gemma Bulos of Global Women's Water Initiative

          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...

          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.

          • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

            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 ...

            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,
            Paul

        • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

          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 ...

          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,
          Paul

      • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

        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...

        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
        Paul

        • Gemma Bulos of Global Women's Water Initiative

          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...

          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.

          • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

            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 ...

            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,
            Paul

        • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

          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 ...

          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,
          Paul

      • Gemma Bulos of Global Women's Water Initiative

        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...

        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.

        • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

          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 ...

          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,
          Paul

      • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

        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 ...

        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,
        Paul

    • Gemma Bulos of Global Women's Water Initiative

      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?

      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?

      • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

        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...

        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
        Paul

        • Gemma Bulos of Global Women's Water Initiative

          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...

          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.

          • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

            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 ...

            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,
            Paul

        • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

          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 ...

          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,
          Paul

      • Gemma Bulos of Global Women's Water Initiative

        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...

        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.

        • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

          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 ...

          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,
          Paul

      • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

        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 ...

        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,
        Paul

    • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

      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...

      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
      Paul

      • Gemma Bulos of Global Women's Water Initiative

        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...

        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.

        • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

          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 ...

          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,
          Paul

      • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

        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 ...

        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,
        Paul

    • Gemma Bulos of Global Women's Water Initiative

      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...

      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.

      • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

        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 ...

        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,
        Paul

    • Paul Kaufman of Aqua Clara International

      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 ...

      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,
      Paul

  • Rating: 9

    review by (only shown to members)

    Seems like a good project. I like the active participation from the community with both the administration and implementation of the project. I also appreciate the effort to keep costs down and to secure materials locally. I like your innovative approach to test different materials (such as plastic containers instead of cement containers) with your biosand filters. I also feel you have a solid system to monitor and evaluate project results.

  • Rating: 8

    review by (only shown to members)

    Community involvement and a well thought out process have earned a higher rating. Considering it's relatively inexpensive cost, it seems a worthwhile endeavor. Monitoring community feedback as well as continued use of the RWH system is great, but I don't think using children's attendance as a metric for the success of the project is wise. To say there is correlation is worth noting but not causation. Other than this, it looks like a good sustainable alternative source of water.

  • Rating: 7

    review by (only shown to members)

    Am much more positive about this after the Q&A. To be honest after seeing the data from last year's project and the management transition, i was nervous, but Paul's participation and responsiveness and openess (both about this application) and with regard to last year's work has completely reversed my apprehensions.

    These projects are good and will form the basis of actually tracking our long-term impact to see if our theory of change (starting from the school to the community) is correct or needs enhancements.

  • Not Reviewed

    by (only shown to members)

  • Rating: 10

    review by (only shown to members)

    I love the biosand filter. I love that you found a super cheap way of making them. and I love WASH training centers! YES!

  • Rating: 9

    review by (only shown to members)

    A project reaching 12 schools is wonderfully ambitious but could be difficult to manage and so must put considerable responsibility on the local coordinators (this is a good thing). The micro-business aspect is particularly interesting and I hope all goes as projected.

Name Status Completion Date Amount Assigned
Schools for Water Overall Project Report In-progress Aug 2013 $45,755
Schools for Water, Arap Moi Primary School In-progress May 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Chepeng'oror Primary School In-progress May 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Brockley Primary School In-progress May 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Baraton Primary School In-progress May 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Metamawya Primary School Complete - Successful Jun 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Nyaigesa Primary School Complete - Successful Jul 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Mokobokobo Primary School Complete - Successful Dec 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Nyanko Primary School Complete - Successful Nov 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Moi Kisii Primary School Complete - Successful Nov 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Ichuni Boys Primary School Complete - Successful Jul 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Riamoancha Primary School Complete - Successful Dec 2013 $2,762
Schools for Water, Kimai Primary School Complete - Successful Dec 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Gionsaria Primary School Complete - Successful Dec 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Masisi Primary School Complete - Successful Dec 2013 $2,762
Schools for Water, Kenyoro N. Primary School Complete - Successful Dec 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Nyamauro Primary School Complete - Successful Dec 2013 $2,765
Schools for Water, Ekinda Primary School Complete - Successful Dec 2013 $5