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Quenching thirst half a world away
Sonia Sunger, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Sunday, May 11, 2008 10:01PM MDT
Medical students from the University of Alberta spent Sunday afternoon 'running for water' to raise money for ceramic water filters that have the potential to save the lives of villagers in Kenya.
Dozens of people ran or walked 2.5 kilometres at Foote Field to raise money for water filters,which look a lot like clay pots.
"A full sized filter, to filter for a family for a year's worth of water, is $3 to $5 US," said Abdullah Saleh.
The porous filters, which were first tested at the University of Alberta, cleanse water of bacteria and parasites.
"The big problem is with children under 5, their immune systems aren't quite developed yet, so they get a lot of diarrheal diseases and unfortunately a lot of them die because of it," said medical student Abraam Isaac.
About 50 per cent of Kenyans do not have clean drinking water.
"It would probably be like drinking out of the North Saskatchewan River," said Isaac.
A team of seven medical students will go to Kenya in June to build another facility where locals can manufacture the water filters themselves. Local Edmonton potter, Lorris Williams will accompany the team to help teach villagers how to build the filters.
"They're an exciting group of young people to be involved with, so that's always nice to see young people picking up the traces," said Williams.
The first facility was built last summer and gave villagers inexpensive access to clean drinking water.
For information on the project visit the Kenyan Ceramics website.
With files from Erin Isfeld