3 November We Stopped Cholera Press Release November 3, 2015By Web Admin Democratic Republic of Congo 0 In Goma, a city of a million people in eastern Congo-DRC, with 600,000 refugees ringing the city, there is not a drop of clean water. Since January 2015, there have been more than 100,000 documented cases of cholera, with over 2,000 deaths. Overall, in the past three years, there have been far more cholera deaths in the Congo and surrounding countries than all ebola-related deaths worldwide combined. It has been worse for the 3,800 children in the 26 orphanages in the city, most of which were established to take in orphans from the 17-year war which killed almost seven million people. Friendly Water for the World Medical Officer Dr. Kambale Musubao visited all 26, documenting more than 700 cholera cases between January and June, and at least 67 deaths, almost one out of every ten confirmed cases. Friendly Water for the World (www.friendlywater.net) had trained two teams of BioSand Filter fabricators (one made up entirely of women rape survivors from the war.) Over the past two months, Dr. Kambale and his colleagues have installed BioSand Water Filters in all 26 orphanages, and taught basic hygiene and community sanitation. As of September 2nd, there is not a single case of cholera in any orphanage in Goma. “It’s no miracle,” said Friendly Water for the World Board Chairman David Albert, “It’s just good science, strategically and appropriately applied by people who really care.” BioSand Water Filters were invented by Dr. David Manz at the University of Calgary. He patented the technology, which requires no chemicals, electricity, motorized equipment, or moving parts, and is made of all locally available materials, and gave the patent to the world. BioSand Water Filters can remove up to 99% of bacteria, and virtually 100% of viruses, worms, protozoa, and amoeba which cause waterborne illnesses such as cholera, typhoid, bacterial dysentery, Rotavirus, hepatitis A, giardia, and cryptosporidiosis. Friendly Water for the World is a knowledge-sharing and training organization working with communities in 12 countries to help them ensure their own clean water supply. “This is a story of hope,” said Jim Cooper, Olympia, Washington City Councilman and President, United Way of the Pacific Northwest, who is serving as the We Stopped Cholera Victory Campaign Co-Chair. “It is proof of how a very little bit can be stretched a very long way. We are humbled by the effort.” The total cost of eradicating cholera in the 26 orphanages was $1,980. Dr. Kambale Musubao is a physician and surgeon in the Congo, who also runs three health clinics for war orphans. He traded in his hospital-based surgery practice, noting, “In the hospital, I could save at most one or two people a day. Working on clean water with Friendly Water for the World, I can save thousands.” A celebration with all 3,800 children was held Goma on September 20th. Photos will soon be available. Friendly Water for the World is kicking off its four-month long We Stopped Cholera Victory Campaign with events in Olympia, Washington October 23-24, featuring awarding-winning humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson of NPR’s “The Jefferson Hour” (http://www.jeffersonhour.com). The aim is to raise enough funds to replicate the Goma effort and support other communities’ efforts to ensure access to clean water by a factor of 50. Related Posts A report on our We Stopped Cholera kickoff Celebration On Friday evening, some 300 people turned out to see Clay Jenkinson as Meriwether Lewis. (and Seaman the Newfie!) In addition to a fabulous performance (we will have him back!), Clay indicated he wants to support Friendly Water for the World even more, noting that we are "a global expression of Jeffersonian Democracy in action." We are working on bigger plans together! Saturday was Friendly Water's Administration and Operations Director Drissia Ras' day. Besides being a scientist (one of the world's leading experts on the removal of arsenic with a BioSand Filter), organizer, website and data coordinator, and French and Arabic translator (and, boy, do we need it!), she is also a fabulous cook! On Saturdaymorning, she led a jam-packed Moroccan Cooking Class at Bayview Market (with thanks to the Storman Family for letting us have the space), teaching how to prepare couscous with all the trimmings. I have already heard from two of her students that they went right home and prepared it themselves, and it was fabulous. Then, in the evening, we had our Victory Dinner, also featuring Moroccan food. We talked about the next steps in the We Stopped Cholera Campaign (more on that later). And then, we auctioned off the Board Chairman's 36-year-old moustache! The bidding was wild and woolly, with bids for him to keep the moustache, shave it off, trim it, shave off half of it. Finally, a syndicate formed, and it was decided that it simply had to go, at a final price of more than $700 to ensure clean water. Tai the barber, who has wanted to get rid of the darn thing for almost a decade, was there to do the honors. Let's remember that this is just the beginning of the Campaign, not the end. There will be a Black Friday wine-tasting, "A Little Wine After Shopping", at the Women's Club of Olympia, and on January 17th, a "There is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch" Free Lunch, with food from Olympia's own Nineveh. Watch this space for details. Thanks to all who made this possible, and are helping to ensure clean water with us all over the world! "I NOW CONDUCT MY LIFE LIKE A NORMAL PERSON!" A combination of malnutrition, lack of health care access, and, above all, lack of access to clean water, means that the camp is full of orphans, while at the same time mortality rates among children under five is extremely high. In late 2014, Friendly Water for the World Medical Officer Dr. Kambale Musubao traveled to one section of the camp, where he conducted HIV testing. He found 63 families (with a total of 378 children) impacted by HIV. In the year prior to the testing, these families lost 80 children under the age of five from waterborne illnesses. Through a small grant from Friendly Water for the World’s Card Fund ($2,920 to be exact), all 63 families were provided with BioSand Water Filters, as well as basic education in sanitation and hygiene. In December, Dr. Kambale returned to conduct an epidemiological survey of the families. He found that, among adults, there was not a single death from waterborne illnesses – not one - and HIV-related deaths were reduced by 70%. Under-five mortality was reduced by 75% (it likely would have been reduced more, except that in the very close quarters of the camp, children visit other children and families who continue to consume contaminated water.) Dysentery and diarrhea among the children went from being a near-universal condition to a rarity. School attendance had radically increased. And among the adults infected with HIV, chronic illness among the 63 was reduced from 51 people to 12. Cholera cases were reduced from 23 cases to 2; typhoid cases from 20 a month to an average of one. Dr. Kambale believes reductions would be even greater if more attention were paid to sanitation and hygiene, and if participants didn’t sometimes pour overly chlorinated water, obtained from other non-government organizations, into the Filters, destroying the bio-layer and reducing Filter efficiency. “After the death of my husband from HIV,” said Mwenge, “I had no energy for my daily routine. But now after the use of the BioSand Filter, my health has improved a lot, and I can work. I almost forgot that I am an HIV person”. Mwenge is now selling filtered water to her neighbors (at approximately one-sixteenth the cost of bottled water), and in the past several months, has earned $108. Her neighbors Aline and Jean said that before the use of the BioSand Filter, they were in constant fear of death. But today, they have hopes for normal lives, health, and life expectancy. "BioSand Filters are not just helping reduce the spread of disease," notes Dr. Kambale, “but also lift the people’s spirits and gives them hope for a better life.” Friendly Water for the World is now expanding the program and the hope is that, during the next year, as part of our Building New Lives Campaign, people with HIV will be trained to fabricate, distribute, install, and maintain BioSand Filters, as well as conduct community sanitation campaigns inside the refugee camp Make this YOUR story of hope. Join the Building the New Lives Campaign. Also Please share this with your friends. Report from the Kahororo, Congo project - Two years in background He chose the village of Kahororo, in a low-lying area halfway between Uvira, Congo, and Bujumbura, Burundi. It is a Batwa/Pygmy village – really a reservation. The Batwa/Pygmy people are a highly oppressed minority, rather like American Indians, making up less than 1% of the total population, who were once forest dwellers and hunters, but now gathered into small areas of mostly non-arable land. Kahororo is surrounded by water and marshes. There was no school, no health clinic, no road, no significant buildings of any kind. Unemployment is essentially 100%. The people remember only a single outside intervention in their past, when United Nations troops passed through in 2004, raped some of the women, and gave them HIV. Life expectancy is under 35, and more than half of the children died before the age of five, almost all the result of waterborne illnesses. The Intervention With the funds received, Friendly Water for the World provided two steel molds and a toolkit under our long-term loan agreement for use in producing BioSand Filters, and enough materials to build the first 30-35 Filters. Eliphaz trained a group of 16 women and 14 men for six days in fabricating, distributing, installing, and maintaining the Filters, as well as providing training in community sanitation and hygiene. In 38 days, 31 BioSand Filters were built and installed. A formal BioSand group was formed, and leader elected. More materials were requested and provided, so that Filters could also be sold outside of the community. Over the next six months, 85 BioSand Filters were build and installed in Kahororo. Results Major improvements in health were seen within three weeks. Over the course of the next year, under-five child mortality was reduced by more than 90%, from as many as one child death every three days, to as few as one every six months. Longevity increased among adults as well. A school was started. The group began selling Filters to surrounding communities. A World Bank committee charged with improving the conditions of Batwa/Pygmy people heard about the “miracle of Kahororo” and visited Kahororo in January 2015. The residents told them they wanted to spread the work to other Batwa/Pygmy communities. One person trained – Konka Shindano – became a BioSand technician. In September 2015, at Friendly Water for the World’s request, he traveled almost 500 miles away, to Beni and Butembo in the far northeastern corner of the Congo to train other Batwa/Pygmy communities. He had never traveled more than 15 miles away from Kahororo before. It turned out he spoke the same languages (Kimpute/Killesse), and the fact that he could teach technical skills was seen as extraordinary. His presence and expertise was much sought-after by village leaders and the length of his trip had to be doubled. He is likely to return there to assist with future trainings in 2016. Kahororo village leader Anania Shigira says, "Water is Life, and is a fundamental life. As one of the fundamental rights, life can now be returned to my community and my people are revitalized because we now have access to clean water through BioSand Water Filters. Thank you! We note that the sustained action of Friendly Water for the World is the first intervention toward the development of Kahororo since the world began. We were yesterday forgotten, discriminated against, and marginalized, but today we now have become proud and worthy thanks to the BioSand Filter program." Please help us extend the miracle of Kahororo to other communities through your contributions large and small. And please share this post with your friends THIS is What Success Looks Like – NOTHING HAPPENS There – when “nothing happens”, it is often a revelation. While surrounding communities are experiencing disease and even death, when “nothing happens” in the community because of a health intervention, there is much rejoicing. There is even more rejoicing, and a feeling of great pride, when not only are our new friends surviving and even healthy when the periodic epidemics sweep through, but when they do this for themselves and for their neighbors - without governments (local, national, or foreign), banks, churches, white missionaries, huge NGOs and charities, political parties. Sometimes, even without doctors or nurses (because there aren’t any!) They make “nothing happen” with their own intelligence, ingenuity, pent-up energy, generosity, and caring. (And a little knowledge sharing and training, in the case below all secondhand, tools, and some cheerleading – perhaps our biggest asset - from us.) So there is great excitement outside of Gisenyi, Rwanda. Early this year, our Friendly Water for the World affiliate God in Us-Africa trained a group of 20 HIV-positive widows – of different ages, religions, and tribal affiliations - in building BioSand Water Filters, and in teaching community sanitation and hygiene. They called their group “Tunyamazimeza”– meaning “Use Clean Water” in Kinyarwanda, elected a President, and set up a bank account. They started by building and installing Filters for themselves and their children, and, as we’ve seen virtually everywhere, within less than a month waterborne and opportunistic infections disappeared, and the women got stronger. No typhoid, no cholera, no bacterial dysentery, no ambiasis, no Rotavirus. They made “nothing happen”! Then they went to work. Over the past four months, Tunyamazimeza has built and installed 164 BioSand Water Filters, many of them ordered by local schools who have seen how much “nothing happens” when the kids have access to clean water. They made a profit of $835. They spent the first $225 to buy health insurance for 56 children, who can now access health care at government health clinics when they need it, and free pharmaceuticals (the bane of health care in many subSaharan environments.) Of course, most of them don’t need much of it anymore, as “nothing is happening”. They are using the rest of the funds to rent land for next year to cultivate fruit and vegetables, both for the market, and for their own families to supplement their limited diets. These are now some very happy people! (And of course they are continuing to build BioSand Filters.) Now, people are streaming in from other districts, pleading with God in Us-Africa and Friendly Water for the World to start programs in their communities. And local governments, too. We have 12 projects now, and a team that does nothing but monitoring and evaluation. I expect we will triple that in the next year, perhaps to include Friendly Water soapmaking, and training in building eco-friendly latrines. Of course, that means we need more help from all of you. Please consider supporting us with a monthly pledge (you can do that through our website at www.friendlywater.net ); even $5 a month can make a huge difference in people’s lives. Help us make “nothing happen”! (And share this with your friends, so that they can, too!) Comment (0) Comments are closed.