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Burundi, a small African nation, has the lowest per-capita GDP in the world. It is recovering from the unspeakable 1993-2005 genocide that crumbled the nation to the ground. Bugabira, a village in Burundi, epitomizes the country’s struggle, and now the Bugabirans are fighting for their lives again-this time against a microscopic enemy. The village’s sole water source is a parasite-infested lake 3 miles away. Because of the harmful water, most children are too sick to attend school, and a 40% child mortality rate is an overt daily reality.
Our unique and innovative system combines two highly effective and reliable water filtration methods: the biosand filter and the pods of the moringa oleifera tree. The biosand filter is made from a drum or bucket, pvc pipe, and three types of sand: fine grained, coarse grained, and gravel. These filters have a simple design requiring less than a day of setup, remove all worms and nearly all bacteria from water, and can reduce diarrhea related disease by over 40%. The filter can also be modified for filtering more harmful contaminants, scaled up or down using different sized receptacles, has an average lifespan of 10 years with minor maintenance, and the components inside can be recycled for new filters when necessary. An in-home method using Moringa Oleifera pods will provide a back-up to be sure the water is safe before consumption. Moringa Oleifera is a native, quick-growing, drought-resistant tree whose pods have recently been found to effectively purify water (up to 99%) and has also been used by the World Health Organization to combat malnutrition for over 40 years. Our innovative system is not only simple, it is sustainable, natural, and accessible to Bugabira; it's realistic.