Now that monsoon season is over, Reece Grant recipient Allan Toole has been able to take his water sanitation efforts on Seikkyi Island into the next phase.
Local leaders have been impressed by the 20 bio-sand filters that Allan’s team managed to install earlier in the year and have already seen a significant improvement in water quality. They have given Allan the opportunity to run health awareness sessions and to create a local manufacturing centre for bio-sand filters (BSFs) which can service up to a projected population of 10,000 people. For Allan, this marks a major milestone. It was important to him that the project had long-term and sustainable outcomes.
Allan and his team have been working hard to not only manufacture bio-sand filters, but also to educate the local partners on how to build and maintain the BSFs moving forward. The importance of this can’t be understated. The local community will soon be able to create their own water filters, which is a huge step towards self-sufficiency. It’s no surprise then that the community have fully embraced the project.
With 10 BSFs already manufactured, the team is preparing for transport and installation. Weather conditions have impeded the local processing of the BSF’s sand layer, which is the key to ensuring the effectiveness of the filtration process. Manufacturing the filters offsite in a new manufacturing centre should help to speed things up, as well as ensure better delivery of materials.
Allan is confident that the project is on-track and should finish in the second half of 2019. While this may seem like an extended timeline, the weather in Myanmar is hard to predict and can be ferocious, with torrential rainfall that is prone to flash-flooding. Allan is confident, however, that the locals in Seikkyi are well on their way to having uncontaminated water year-round.