Guest Post

Am Toby James,I’ve been lucky enough to take 3 months out from work at GHD in Australia (where I work with Dale as a water engineer) and volunteer with MSABI in Ifakara. As mentioned in the most recent newsletter, I visited MSABI 2 years ago. In the last 2 years MSABI has grown exponentially - in terms of achievements, staff numbers, and external funding and support.The MSABI team has been very welcoming - patient and generous with their time. Every staff member at MSABI has great ideas and is enthusiastic about the objectives of the project. Dale and Nik are extremely busy managing the ever-widening components of the project.

I have been working primarily with Eston Yesaya (MSABI’s laboratory Scientist) on developing the optimum ratio of rice-husk and clay for the MSABI filter pots. In addition, we have undertaken a number of field and lab experiments to develop a better understanding of the capacity of the filter pots to remove iron and manganese. Iron and manganese are commonly found in well water. While they don’t represent a risk to human health in the levels we find them, the minerals cause the water to have an unpleasant colour and taste, as well as staining clothes if used for washing. Happily, the MSABI filter pots are very efficient at removing iron, in addition to their primary function of removing bacteria and reducing water turbidity. It is anticipated that community health will continue to improve once a design for the ‘TEMBO’ (elephant) filter pots
is finalized, and MSABI begins selling the filter pots to the local community
at a low price.

MSABI filter pots in the Lab.

Before filtering through MSABI's filter pot.

Clean water after filtration.

It would be nice to speak a little more Kiswahili - that will take some time– pole pole. I have really enjoyed my time here so far, and I greatly appreciate all the help I have been given by MSABI staff. Many thanks to GHD for supporting my internship, and for the ongoing corporate sponsorship of
MSABI.
Thanks to all supporters for MSABI programs.
Regards,
Toby James