Even when water is available, accessing water that is safe to drink and wash with IS OFTEN STILL AN ISSUE. 748 million people in the world do not have access to clean water. IN MEXICO, we are helping to develop new ways to make water safe.
Mexico is heavily reliant on its groundwater sources to meet water demands. Unfortunately, this groundwater is contaminated with high levels of biological contaminants as well as naturally occurring fluoride and arsenic. Fluoride can cause skeletal and dental fluorosis and hinder neurological development in children whilst arsenic exposure causes chronic neurological problems. Those that can afford it drink bottled water, but, there are many who cannot and face the daily reality of having to drink water that is dangerous.
Engineers Without Borders UK are working in collaboration with Caminos de Agua to make the groundwater safe to drink. Billy, an Engineers Without Borders UK volunteer, is further developing the ceramic filters we have been working on together. He is designing a prototype water filter that makes use of ‘bonechar’, a charcoal produced from animal bones, to remove the fluoride. This may represent a ground-breaking global development in the field of water filtration. Fluoride contamination is a problem worldwide, yet there are no cheap, appropriate systems to deal with it.
In 2015, Engineers Without Borders volunteers worked a staggering 32,054 hours on international projects, such as this one. With your help we are determined to help everyone everywhere have access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.