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iKormi - Filter distribution

posted Nov 15, 2013, 7:41 PM by Thabit Pulak   [ updated Nov 15, 2013, 8:17 PM ]
On the month of October, my non-profit organization iKormi had started to roll out it's first set of arsenic water filters to be distributed to arsenic affected households in Bangladesh. From here in the United States, I helped raise over $2,000 to jumpstart this project. The first filter went to Rajapur, Bangladesh, in the home of Sumayyah, the girl who inspired me to pursue this arsenic project in the first place. It was from her that I realized the current problem in Bangladesh, which was that people couldn't afford to buy arsenic water filters, and had no choice but to drink the poisoned water. I researched and eventually developed an affordable filter prototype which made use of home-based materials, and eventually piloted the filter. Since my filter is still not yet ready for public deployment, I wanted to at least give the people who I met in the village of Rajapur something to alleviate the problem in the short term, so I decided to go ahead and distribute the existing commercial filter to them using the money I fundraised. 

Fundraising is just one part of the whole process however. Even distributing the existing SONO filter turned out to be a more difficult task than I thought. Since Rajapur is located on the far outskirts of Kushtia, which is a larger town, the roads that lead to Rajapur tended to be very broken and narrow. The existing commercial filter is a very heavy, and large filter which wouldn't fit into the typical rickshaw as well. So special
transportation arrangements had to be made to take the filter to the appropriate location. A special type of truck, powered by a boat motor, was used, which, although somewhat clumsy, was powerful and large enough for the task of transporting both the filter, and 3 iKormi volunteers who would be needed to set up the filter. Overall though, after the arrangements and financial allotments were made, the filter set-up was a success, smoothly accomplished. 

There's still a lot of work to be done however, but this is definitely a promising start.  Please check out some photos taken of the filter distribution below!

iKormi Arsenic Water Filter Distribution in Rajapur, Bangladesh