When we teamed up with LifeSaver we knew we had found a solid partner, what we didn't know was that they would choose us to help launch their revolutionary C1 filter. The day we were first asked to participate the excitement was about the prospect of a new innovation, at the time we had no clue about the impact it would make. Looking back, I am glad that we were somewhat oblivious to all of this, it made the experience more genuine than we could have ever hoped to have staged.
Naweed had a plan in mind almost immediately and so it all came together quite seamlessly, though not without a huge effort from many unmentioned. The idea was to install the filter at a school close to his farm and home, he would then deliver water weekly to a tank supplied by Highland Estates that would feed the C1. The school identified was one Naweed and his family had cared for since he was just a small boy, so it really hit home for him in a big way.
Ubena Primary School couldn't have been more hospitable and inviting, the appreciation to LifeSaver for their donation was felt immediately and seen in the amazed eyes of every little onlooker witnessing our demonstrations. They took to the science behind the product so quickly, we spent a rainy afternoon with the children filtering muddy puddles, they were hooked. However, for us it was a hard reminder of the stark difficulties faced in our nearby communities, watching some of the students take the opportunity to wash their shoes in the fresh rain water, these struggles we have seen and known about all our lives but often have subconsciously sheltered ourselves from.
Some of the challenges faced are the premature death of 5000 Tanzanian children under the age of 5 to water borne diseases like typhoid and diarrhea. The time taken to collect water on average is 17 minutes per day, the burden of which often falls to girls and this figure is even higher in more rural areas.
It took Haidari and his team an afternoon to set-up the tank stand and tank, Naweed had organised for his tractor to deliver a bowser of dam water the following morning so we could fit and prime the filter thereafter. It all went like clockwork, the team pulled it off without a hitch and earlier than expected. The installation was a success! That afternoon we came back to shoot in the low light, it was a Saturday so only a select few students had been bribed with sodas and a lovely late lunch, to come test the filter, needless to say, we got a full turn-out.
The tap turned, that precious clear liquid began to flow into the glass held below by a smiling student, behind him cheering started, then clapping and then into song. Hair was on ends, it was a really special moment, hard to describe but an elation in time. "Asante LifeSaver, asante LifeSaver" the children sang, "We love LifeSaver". There wasn't much talk over lunch, everyone ate the delicious food quietly, we all knew that it was just a great day, nothing needed to be said, yet!
Author - James Bruce Taylor - Head of Aid & Marketing Director for AAS
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