If you haven’t heard, nature’s got another “el niño” on. In PNG, that translates to drought. Since our return to Menya, it has rained once and it wasn’t much. We were told that was the first rain in months. You can see in the picture above how low our “big river” is–all those rocks are covered when it’s been raining.
Drought in Menya means rivers and streams are low or dried up and crops are failing. Many of our neighbors head up to the jungle for days or weeks to find food. The jungle has no rest stops and folks end up contaminating the waters that flow down the mountain by bathing or worse. Times like these, disease outbreaks rise. So Wes decided we should show our folks how to make a water filter. After some online research, he came up with a plan and Saturday we implemented it.
Here Ken, one of our closest neighbors (brother to Hoka,) is showing a diagram of the planned filter.
The first task was constructing a platform for the barrel.
While the men did that, some women were separating charcoal from a fire place.
In the bottom of the barrel went some small stones.
After that came a thick layer of charcoal, then a layer of sand and more stone.
The water came from a stream close by that was “piped” even closer through this bamboo aqueduct. You can see all the holes in the bamboo where the “ribs” have been broken out for the water to flow.
After the project was complete, we filled the barrel with water and told the folks to let it run through until the water was coming out clear (the charcoal needed some rinsing.) Later in the day, Wes went back and drank a glass of water from the filter. Twenty-four hours later and he’s still with us.
We’re hoping people will see how easy this is and construct a filter for their own household.