Solutions Benefiting Life Institute Ltd., a Massachusetts-based non profit, which provides technological know-how and hands-on training to local potters in India and Nepal for production of cheap, locally made water filters, received a matching grant for $7,500 from Barakat in order to support six new production and marketing sites in Nepal.
SBL uses the microbusiness model for production and distribution of water filters with the aim of ensuring long term sustainability of the project. However, the initial set up and training of the potters, as producers and independent distributors of SBL water filters, requires sustained financial and technological input for the first year. Barakat funding for SBL will be used to ensure that the six new sites in Nepal are able to achieve independent business status in a years time.
Specifically, it will be used to purchase equipment and materials for manufacturing; as well as test instruments for water analysis testing to maintain quality control; and for the construction of six kilns, one for each new site in Nepal.
The SBL water filter consists of a porous, silvered ceramic disk at the bottom of a clay filter holder that fits inside a clay receptacle with a spigot at the bottom. The ceramic disk is coated with colloidal silver w
hich acts as the filter by suffocating 99.99% of bacterial coliform and eliminating all other forms of harmful bacteria. The filter has a flow rate of 4.5 liters/hour and the receptacle can hold 20 liters of water, as well as keeping it cool. A total of 7000 SBL water filter units are currently in use in South Asia, and it is hoped that six new sites will increase this number manifold.
Barakat knows that the difference between clean and dirty water is a difference between life and death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2.3 million people die every year from diarrheal diseases and 90% are children under 5 years of age, mostly in the developing world. At Barakat, we believe, that this grant to SBL will help to ensure the health and long life of children and adults in remote regions of Nepal where they have had no other access to clean water sources.