After talking with friends in Guinea who expressed their concerns about water. We started researching for clean water options. In 2013 we ran a feasibility study and determined that we could successfully build BioSand Water Filters. We have been providing access to clean water in Guinea since 2014 because we, our supporters and our community partners on the ground, understand that “water is life.”
We’ve known that clean water and basic sanitation are essential to quelling the bacteria, viruses and major, yet preventable, diseases that ravage communities in West Africa. Without clean water, illnesses like typhoid, malaria and dysentery are unfortunately a way of life in Guinea, bringing untold suffering, high rates of infant mortality, and an average life span of just 59 years.
By producing and providing biosand water filters to people in rural, urban and suburban communities in Guinea, we have substantially improved health and life outcomes among children and families.
With the COVID-19 pandemic expanding across the globe, the need for safe, clean water in Guinea has become that much more critical.
The basic prevention methods for stemming COVID-19 transmission that we use in the United States – regular hand-washing, social distancing and wearing a mask – aren’t simple or easily practiced in Guinea.
In Guinea, large extended families often live in small crowded spaces, sharing sleeping areas. Urban centers like the area around Guinea’s capitol city Conakry, are densely populated and women must venture out daily to buy food to feed their families in the absence of refrigeration and money to “stock up.” The idea of “locking down” and not interacting with others for extended periods of time is not an option for most people in Guinea as the pandemic continues.
This makes hand washing even more important than ever. People in Guinea must be able to wash their hands throughout the day to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But it’s very hard to do this simple and effective prevention method when you do not have access to clean water and soap. (We have also provided soap for families.)
The Benkadi Project is ready to continue and expand our clean water work in Guinea at this unprecedented time. We have developed the necessary knowledge, expertise and experience to provide clean water access in multiple communities in the country. Our biosand water filter systems have already proven to be effective in Guinea. We have an established production system, a trained workforce and key partnerships with community leaders on the ground in place. Our staff in Guinea have developed social distancing guidelines and protocols for safely producing and delivering biosand filters and providing health education to families.
With your support, we can increase production and delivery of biosand filters to more families, all of whom who need access to clean water to protect themselves from COVID-19 as well as the host of diseases and health conditions that we have been addressing previously.