BY CHINYERE Nnaemeka
The Imo State Rural Water and Sanitation Agency in collaboration with Partnership Initiative for Niger Delta Development (PIND) and United Nation International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), commenced its step down training for the rural dwellers in the state.
The sensitization programme was centred on the new concept “Bio Sand Filter” for provision of safe drinkable water took place at the Umudike Secondary School in Umudike Ohaji / Egbema Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
It had the presence of the acting programme manager of the agency, Egbem Chikadibia, the agency’s hygiene and mobilization officer, Mr Chris Agu, the water quality officer, Mrs Amasiatu Caroline, the sanitation officer and Mrs Odinaka Chiekezie.
Others are the traditional ruler of the community, Ezeali James Nwanro and other leaders of the community.
Chikadibia who stated that their core responsibility was to ensure that rural dwellers, women and children in particular had access to sanitized hygienic safe clean water, added that they made the community their first port of call because of the series of diarrhea outbreak they had been witnessing.
He revealed that the chief sponsor of the programme is the Government of the state who are in partnership with the aforementioned agencies to ensure that IMORUWASA moves round the rural communities organizing step-down trainings on how to construct, maintain and use the gadget to treat drinking water.
The acting chairman during the training said there is a foreign gadget of Imo concept which cannot easily be afforded by the rural dwellers which is why they had provided an alternative means of using local materials for the process.
According to him, the materials for the local process are 80litres bucket at least, gravel, sand, 3 inch pipe, elbows, sieve and water diffuser.
He began with boring a small hole by the side of the container 5 liters away from its top where the perforated pipes and elbows were passed through to the bottom of the container.
From that same point that was opened on the container, he divided the space into three with a mark and poured in different layers of the washed and sun-dried gravel that was separated with the sieve beginning from its smallest to the biggest size. “It should cover one third of the mark made on the container.”
As he was pouring the gravels layer by layer, he poured in little water with the water diffuser so the spaces where water could pass through to the bottom would not be blocked.
After that, he poured in sand that was also washed and sun – dried that occupied two quarter of the space in container stopping underneath the pipe and elbow connected on top as an outlet for the water.
He then filled up the container to the brim with water that was dripping gradually out of the connected outlet on the container.
According to him, the water that would be dripping out at that stage would not be good for consumption but could only be used for laundry, adding that the water becomes pure and sanitized for consumption after 21 days of continuously filling the container with at least 15litres of water daily.
He continued that the duration was to ensure that the bio – layer which he called the good micro organisms that would eat up the bad micro organisms or pathogens would be formed.
“To ensure the sustainability of the programme, the agency had selected four interested participatants whom we would be communicating with daily to inquire whether they are experiencing any difficulty in the process.”
The traditional ruler of the community, Nwanro commended the team for acquainting them with the new concept and assured that they would endeavour to uphold it as not to let their visit be in vain.