Filtering out ill health, one water-filter at a time
When the water quality of Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur Sakrej village was tested, 47-year-old Tahir Hussain said that it was found to be contaminated and high in fluoride content. Shramik Bharati, a local organisation, supported by WaterAid India and Water.Org which conducted the water quality testing, explained that because the main source was surface water, it was easily contaminated by animal waste, dust, dirt, and other things around the water source. So when Matikalp, a water filter, was presented as a possible solution to make drinking water potable, the community was more than relieved.
Director of operations of Matikalp for his village, for two months now, Hussain said that only when people realised that the quality of water was so poor, did they understand the frequent episodes of illness that everyone suffered from. “Diarrhoea and dysentery were common among children and elders. People had yellow teeth because of high fluoride in water,” he said. Matikalp, therefore, was an ideal water filter solution to the issue.
Made with a dough of two kinds of sand, among other things, Hussain said that the outer layer of the filter is made with food-grade plastic. “The filter is priced at INR 800 so that it is affordable by everyone,” he said.
Hussain was sent to Patna, Bihar, for his training by the local organisation where he learned about the production and marketing of the product. “I now head the production of Matikalp here and also oversee the marketing to ensure that it reaches the market safely,” he said, “It’s been two months since I have been doing this and the response is good. More and more people are choosing to get this filter because everyone wants to be healthy and drink good quality water.” With better access to safe drinking water, the trajectory of health in Rampur Sakrej, it is hoped, will improve in time.