Program Updates

The risk of having a filter inside the kitchen

Posted May 18, 2015

During monitoring visits to follow up on the effectiveness of the Skyboxes installed in the Wayuu communities, it was noted that a number of insects could be found in the fiberglass tanks used to house the Skybox. This was not surprising given that there are very few other reserves of water of any size in the drought stricken communities. A solution to prevent the contamination of insects was to add mesh over the tops of all the fiberglass tanks. This included both the upper tank containing unfiltered water and the lower tank containing filtered water. However, recently we encountered a surprise when performing a water test of the filtered water from the SkyBox in La Piedra. The water test result showed coliforms (bacteria originating from fecal sources) present in the filtered water.

Although the insects were not able to access the filtered water, a number of cockroaches and crickets could be found housed throughout the mesh. In La Piedra, the Skybox filter was located in the kitchen, thus explaining the presence of these types of insects. The Skybox tanks have since been thoroughly cleaned and moved to a separate area. With the support of the community together we will monitor this issue more closely to ensure the potable water does not become contaminated.

This experience provided us with a reminder of the importance of the water testing component to ensure the effectiveness of the water solutions that Aguayuda is installing in the communities.

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