Water Filters

In July, Nobel led a team to two schools near Mae Ramat who had requested funding for the purchase of drinking water for students. The team consisted of former students of the local community development program, Wide Horizons. During their studies, Wide Horizons students learned about making and using natural water filters, and they had used their knowledge to run a small project in the community. Graduates from Wide Horizons work in the community doing various different jobs, but were happily recruited to the cause and volunteered to help bring clean water to two programs, Nah Li Ah Tah, and Maw Taw Lu,  on their free time over the weekend.

Nya Li Ah Hta and Maw Taw Lu Schools are in the plantation areas which were very far from towns. Both schools have difficulties getting clean drinking water, so R2G provided two Bio Sand Water Filters in each school in July. Our purposes are:

  • to educate teachers and boarding house children about what are the water quality (clean and dirty water), and how to make water filter,
  • to reduce the cost of drinking water, and
  • to be sustainable.

The R2G Team performed demonstration, training and filter construction at Nah Li Ah Tah in the morning, producing two water filters there, and then at Maw Taw Lu in the afternoon, producing two water filters there. At both schools, some teachers and almost all boarding students attended our water filter demonstration. Three people demonstrated and taught how to make water filter, and taught people about water quality.  We all worked together with the kids and teachers step by step. Children were so enthusiastic to learn new thing, and they participated us actively.
To make the bio sand water filters, we used the following materials with six different layers:

  • 1st layer: potato-sized stones (2 inches)
  • 2nd layer: slingshot-sized stones (1 inch)
  • 3rd layer: corn-sized stone (2 inches)
  • 4th layer: charcoal (2 inches)
  • 5th layer: coarse sand (3 inches)
  • 6th layer: fine sand (5 inches)

Before we started, the children and teachers and R2G trainers cleaned all of these materials at least ten times each. We demonstrated and taught the method for constructing a filter by making the first filter itself.  Then, the children and teachers made the second water filter themselves. We also taught them about water quality, so that children can identify good and bad water, and they know what kinds of water are safe  to drink.

Clean or good water  

  • water color is clear
  • No taste and odor
  • No bacteria contaminates it
  • No water-borne diseases
  • No toxic or heavy metals


 Dirty or bad water

  • Black or red color
  • Smells
  •  Bacteria contaminates it
  •   Toxic contaminates it


The R2G Team also educated the students and teachers how do the six layer works, step by step. According to our providing water filters for those schools, it can benefit for children health. Not only they can use it for drinking water but also they can use it for cooking water. It is sustainable because as long as children clean and fill the water tanks, they can get clean water for a long time. Most children and teachers came from Burma especially from Karen State. So, we hoped that those children and teachers also can educate the other people in their places.

2 Replies to "Water Filters"

  • Gooch
    August 17, 2011 (3:38 pm)

    Great! Amazing!! Beautiful!!! – job you all! I’m so pleased this knowledge was shared with local communities. I’m proud beyond words of my students from Wide Horizons who helped with this project. This is what we studied and worked so hard for. You all are examples of Leaders in Service to Your Communities! Way to go R2G Team!!

  • claire downes
    February 23, 2012 (4:06 pm)

    Wow! You folks (my Mae Sot housemates) continue to amaze and impress me. Keep up the good work and hope Jen’s departure and Sandy’s leadership are going well. Congratulations to Wide Horizons for continuing to do just that– to widen horizons for others in the community. PS I need some donor info–routing ##, procedures to follow, etc. Thanks.

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