Friday, September 25, 2009


Information gathered during and after the delivery of a hand washing and hygiene program for all TDP school students indicated that many families are not boiling water prior to drinking as a routine. Some families indicated that this was due to time constraints and lack of money to purchase extra fuel for this purpose. For this reason the Health Care Team decided that a safe drinking water education program was needed for the families and guardians of TDP students. The students know clearly that only boiled water is safe but they must rely on their guardians to provide them with boiled water.
It was decided that it would be necessary to educate the community around the importance of always boiling drinking water and to also provide a simple means of accessing safe drinking water. Whilst researching the topic the team looked at using iodine or chlorine purification of water as a possible option but decided against this when information about the chulli water treatment system was found, see below. While families cook their meals 30 litres of safe drinking water is produced by the chulli water treatment system.
The Chulli water treatment System for household pasteurization of drinking water was invented by a Bangladeshi, Professor Mohammad Fakhrul Islam and is now being used widely throughout Bangladesh Oxfam and other international NGOs as well as other developing countries. The details of research of the system which effectively removes coliform bacteria from ground water can be found in J HEALTH POPUL NUTR 2006 Sep;24(3):356-362.
The Chullli Water Treatment system is available from an organisation called WagTech so a visit was made to see their test site in Savar. Three staff from Wagtech then travelled to Gawair and showed TDP staff how to install the chulli water treatment system. A working model was installed at a group of houses close to TDP office so that families could be called more easily to attend education and information sessions. Installation took place on Friday 21st August 2009, a holiday, so we are very grateful for the time given by Wagtech staff David Nunley, Asia Pacific Rim Representative , Mr Ali Ashraf, Proprietor and Shoed for taking the time to travel to Gawair and supervise installation as well as donating the original test chulli water treatment system.
TDP plans for all families who cook with chulli to have access to a chulli water treatment system and is asking families to contribute what they can toward the cost of the chulli so that they will have ownership and ensure it is maintained and cared for. Families who do not have financial means but would benefit from the water treatment system will be provided with the unit.
A survey of all TDP families is currently taking place as part of the Safe Drinking Water program and a wider Water and Sanitation project looking at presence and quality of water supply, latrines, and cooking facilities so that a plan can be put in place to make improvements to the lives of TDP student families. Significant fundraising will be needed make improvements as several families have already been identified as having no toilet facilities or unsafe and inadequate facilities.
It must also be noted that Brendan Heery visited TDP as a volunteer at the same time the HCC was planning their Safe Drinking Water program, he has a particular interest in Water and sanitation and is an engineer so he continues to be involved during visits to Gawair and from his base in Dubai.