Arbor Assets
Achieving Water Security

Throughout the developing world, nearly a billion people lack access to an improved water source free of pathogens, parasites and disease.  Since such water must frequently be collected from a distance, sometimes queued for, and carried back to the home, it is acquired at the expense of time spent in school, family care, or income generating endeavors, and – given that this task is generally performed by women and girls – it is also at the expense of advancing women’s rights, education, and opportunities. 

The most effective way we can contribute in helping to address this problem in the communities in which we work is by addressing ‘point of use’ water treatment possibilities.  The means of water treatment we help provide are bio-sand filters (http://www.cawst.org/en/resources/biosand-filter). We promote this method because it is very effective in removing bacteria and pathogens, as well as affordable, durable and sustainable. 

We act in various capacities to help provide filters.  We finance the establishment of filter manufacturing facilities within our partner organizations from which they operate a cost-recovering filter distribution program.  We have also designed small micro-loan packages for households who wish to purchase a bio-sand filter from the area manufacturing center. 

We also act to disseminate knowledge, general and technical, on many aspects of water health and sanitation.  We host on-site work-shops in which we contract directly with The Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology for our instructor.  Here we help train our partners’ technicians and health promoters for their work in the field where they share their knowledge with the wider population. 

We also reach out to water committees to receive their input on area water concerns.  We feel that working with them not only advances improved water access coverage, it also honors local democratic processes on area water concerns.  We feel it important to engage as many institutions and individuals as is practical in our work for improved water access.