BioSand Water Filters bring health to the homes of more than 16,000 families in Ethiopia.
January, 2013—As a mother of eight, Gitu Lekebuo knows the joys-and risks-of
raising children in Bochesa, Ethiopia.
One of the risks is drinking contaminated water. It is like
poison that can cause even the healthiest of children to succumb to
diarrhea, malnutrition, and disease.
“Many children died from drinking the river straight,” said
Gitu. Her own children, ranging in age from 12 to 18 years old,
have been more fortunate. They’ve enjoyed better health thanks to
Canadians’ generous donations that brought a BioSand Water Filter
into their home.
That filter is one of over 16,400 that Samaritan’s Purse Canada
has installed in Ethiopia since 1999 through a local Christian
partner. And with your financial partnership, we can help many more
families. Through the water filter, the dirty river water Gitu
collects several times a day is transformed into clean, drinkable
water-the kind Canadians enjoy without a moment’s thought.
Gitu is grateful for the BioSand Water Filter and also for the
essential health and hygiene training that’s always part of a
Samaritan’s Purse water project. “We didn’t know any of this
education [about how] to be healthy,” she said. Their laundry now
comes clean, and they are diligent at hand-washing and being
sanitary-but most importantly-“You’ve saved us from death,” said
Sujari is a woman from another Ethiopian village called Dodecha,
where farmland is lush thanks to wells that for generations have
supplied water for irrigation and consumption.
Unfortunately, while the water is great for irrigation, it isn’t
fit for drinking. The sinister effects of its high fluoride content
are evident in children’s smiles and adults’ statures: tooth decay,
and, after long-term exposure, bone density deterioration.
Sujari walks hunch-backed and full of pain as a result of
drinking the contaminated water. But since receiving a BioSand
Water Filter over a year ago, she’s happy that her nine children
won’t suffer the same way.
Through Samaritan’s Purse health and hygiene education, she
learned the dangers of consuming well-water in her community, and
the benefits of using surface water filtered through BioSand Water
Filters instead. She now understands that surface water contains
less fluoride while filters kill the disease-causing bacteria,
viruses, and parasites that would otherwise ruin families’
“I am thankful that the filter provides safe water for my
family. Before, we had no choice,” said Sujari.