Helping to clean water in Uganda

nbua-12-01-12-ugandaproject - The team who visited the Sand Aid project at the end of last year. Left to right Stephen Dolley, Geoff Carrier, Jethro Baitha, Dan Northam Jones, Rev Hilary Edgerton (of St Matthew's Church Hayfield), Alison Howell, Yokonia Maserika. Photo contributed.
nbua-12-01-12-ugandaproject - The team who visited the Sand Aid project at the end of last year. Left to right Stephen Dolley, Geoff Carrier, Jethro Baitha, Dan Northam Jones, Rev Hilary Edgerton (of St Matthew's Church Hayfield), Alison Howell, Yokonia Maserika. Photo contributed.
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A HIGH Peak-based project is helping provide clean water for communities in Uganda.

The Sand Filter Aid scheme was set up in the High Peak in 2009 with the aim of promoting the use of sand filters to clean river water.

nbua-12-01-12-ugandaproject2 - Hayfield Beavers are among the sponsors for the High Peak based Sand Filter Aid project to provide clean water for communities in Uganda. Photo contributed.

nbua-12-01-12-ugandaproject2 - Hayfield Beavers are among the sponsors for the High Peak based Sand Filter Aid project to provide clean water for communities in Uganda. Photo contributed.

Water is emptied through a small hole, into an upper pot, allowing it to slowly trickle into a larger pot. Every drop of water dripping into the reservoir of water in the large pot causes a drop of water to drip out of the hosepipe. The water coming out of the hose must have passed through the sand and larger stones at the base of the pot provide spaces in which filtered water collects. The cleaned water flows up the hose as more water is added to the pot.

As well as providing families with locally-made sand filters so they can drink clean, cool water instead of untreated water, the project also helps by generating jobs for people in the local communities. Local potters had to be found to make the pots and other people were also needed to help transport the post to the most needy villages and construct the filters on site.

The project was initiated by Geoff Carrier, of New Mills, after he attended a talk on how sand filters were being used in Pakistan, shortly before attending a wedding in Kasese, Uganda.

Through the scheme, which is supported by St Matthew’s Church, Hayfield, each family has their own pot, there are no chemicals to buy and a sand filter is easy to maintain. The water also comes out cool because the pots tend to be slightly porous. Families can keep their own pots clean so there are no cash outgoings for people who have very little cash.

nbua-12-01-12-ugandaproject3 - The main potter of the Sand Filter Aid project, which is based in the High Peak and aims to provide safe clean water for communities in Uganda. Photo contributed.

nbua-12-01-12-ugandaproject3 - The main potter of the Sand Filter Aid project, which is based in the High Peak and aims to provide safe clean water for communities in Uganda. Photo contributed.

Around 350 pots are currently being used, thanks to the project, whose costs are met through donations.

Just £15 buys a sand filter to meet the water needs of one family.

Geoff said: “The project wouldn’t be possible without the support of people in the High Peak. Their support shows people in the High Peak have really got a lot of room in their hearts for other people.”

If you would like to support the project through a donation, send a cheque payable to Hayfield PCC, to Geoff Carrier, 7 Hall Street, New Mills, High Peak, SK22 3BR. Alternatively, for a water test pack, email donations@keywordtraining.it.

To find out more about the scheme, visit www.sandfilteraid.co.uk.

A group of people involved in the project visited Uganda at the end of last year and they will be sharing their experiences during an African evening at St Matthew’s Church, Hayfield, on Friday January 20.

Starting at 7.30pm, the event costs £5 including African-style food and is payable on the door.