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Samaritan's Purse Strategic Implementation of the BioSand Filter

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The overall aim of Samaritan's Purse Canada's (SPC) Household Water Program (HWP) is to improve the quality of life and health of families in rural communities throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America that are dependent on contaminated water supplies. Improved health is achieved through the improvement of water quality at the household level using point-of-use water treatment technology as well as increased access to adequate sanitation and increased awareness of health and hygiene. While the centre-piece of Samaritan's Purse's Household Water Program is the BioSand Filter (BSF), the success of the program is dependent on extensive health and hygiene promotion (e.g. hand washing and safe water storage), training in BioSand Filter operation and maintenance, routine follow-up and monitoring, and in many projects latrine construction.

A recent study on the effectiveness and sustainability of a SPC project in Cambodia found a 44% decrease in the self-reported incidence of reduction in diarrheal rates which was attributed in part with the HWP's focus on repeated and directed education on filter usage and health and hygiene (Liang, 2007). The Household Water Program has developed a participatory and integrated approach through lessons learned from many years of international implementation experience. The success and sustainability of the HWP can be attributed to an implementation strategy focused on encouraging significant individual and community participation, developing culturally appropriate hygiene and filter education, and safe storage and sanitation initiatives. The integrated approach has resulted in improved health and quality of life and an increased sense of dignity in community participants.

Keywords: Behavior change; BioSand Filter; Community participation; Health and hygiene education; Household water treatment; Point-of-use implementation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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