Stories of Change

Ty, right, explains to a family how to properly use their new biosand filter.

In a single month, our team can help about 150 people begin to use biosand filters. That is how many people we partnered with in May 2018!

The look and taste of bottled water, nearly for free!

Ty recently had the chance to visit Truong Quoc Hoan and his family in northern Vietnam. They live in Nha May village in Quan Chu commune. In rural Vietnam, you often see extended families living together – Hoan, his wife and their two children live with his parents. The family earns their income from planting tea and from a rice paddy. Hoan also does some carpentry work for his neighborhood from time to time.

Like many other families in the village, Hoan’s family uses water from a drilled well – even though the water has strange smell and usually leaves a thin layer of opalescent dregs at the bottom and on the sides of cooking pots after each use. To cope with this, Hoan or his wife used to have to clean their pots quite often. But that’s in the past, thanks to a change Hoan made after joining a CWS info-sharing workshop about biosand water filtering. Biosand filters helps to not only clean dirt and stone residue but also remove bacteria and parasites. After talking to the village leader and the head of Women’s Union after the presentation, Hoan signed up to make a biosand water filter for his family with technical support from CWS.

Now, after simple filtration, the water has no smell and tastes the same as expensive bottled water from the store. The family is happy in using the filtered water for drinking and cooking, and they think that every family can make one because it is low-cost and easy to use – requiring no electricity and almost no operation cost.

There’s one thing that Hoan may not know, though – how much his family and the others we work with inspire both of us. His family story is so encouraging to us that it re-energizes and motivates us and increases our belief in working to help bring improved community health through each and every biosand water filter we help families make and learn to use.

This story was written by Ngo Quoc Dung, CWS Vietnam Country Representative, and Nguyen Van Ty, an engineer with our Vietnam team.