Dr. Askwar Hilonga of Tanzanian nationality is the inventor behind the sand-based water filter which has offered a sustainable and low cost solution to water problems in Tanzania and many other African countries today.
The inventor was moved by the continuous plague caused by waterborne diseases in his community while growing up. “… I grew up in a very remote village in Tanzania and saw with my own eyes the suffering caused by waterborne diseases….” Added to his academic background and experience making nano materils, he decided to use his expertise to solve the water problem in his community…”
Tanzania like most African countries suffers from water shortage though it is bordered by the Great Lakes of Africa. As such many people especially those in the rural areas lack access to safe drinking water. In the very remote areas, water sources include streams which are equally used for laundry by others.
How does it work?
Dr. Akwar’s Nanofilters is a combination of nano materials and sand based filters. The sand-based water filter cleans contaminated drinking water using nanotechnology. With the nano technology, water passes through sand and is filtered of all debris and bacteria. However because sand cannot remove all contaminants like fluoride and other heavy metals, the water is put through nano materials to remove chemical contaminants.” Thus far it is safe and kills 98% of germs and bacteria and other contaminants.
How much does it cost?
These filters are reasonably affordable. A filter costs about TZS284000 ( Tanzanian Shillings), which is about USD130. Though this is an affordable rate, some households cannot afford it and so Dr. Hilonga and his team work closely with local entrepreneurs to set up Water filtration stations in some communities whereby the Nanofilters are rented out to the local entrepreneurs who in turn filter and sell the water to locals at an affordable rate. The filters are replaced after filtering 800littres of water.
The use of Nanofilters has thus far expanded from Tanzania to other African countries with similar water concerns.
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