In the rural Terai region of Nepal, many tubewell drinking water sources are microbially and/or arsenic contaminated and consequently, millions lack access to “safe” water. Those who drink contaminated water may suffer from preventable water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, stunting, skin lesions, and cancer. To combat this problem, a team comprising researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), together with two local partners, Environment & Public Health Organization (ENPHO), and Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Support Programme (RWSSSP), have developed an award-winning household water filter, the Kanchan™ Arsenic Filter (KAF), for simultaneous arsenic and pathogen removal. The KAF is constructed using locally available labour and materials and is optimised based on the local socio-economic conditions. The first part of this paper explains the technology development process and the technical details of this innovation. The second part of this paper describes the dissemination activities since 2004. This dissemination model not only built capacity in local people towards long-term, user-participatory safe water provision, but also made a contribution to the local economy. As of January 2006, over 25,000 people have gained access to safe water as a result of the implementation of the KAF.

This content is only available as a PDF.