To watch this informative, inspiring 1-hour interview, click HERE.
Dennis Mills, who is active with this activity and with the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation, wrote this summary of the Olympia FOR’s March 2015 TV program.
Our March 2015 interview explores a problem that is very real but is largely hidden from most of us. Half of the people in the world lack access to safe water or sanitation. Every day, 2,000 children die from diarrhea caused by unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation. That is the equivalent of 100 kindergarten classes every day! Safe water is important for our world. Past wars have often been fought over land and oil. Many of tomorrow’s wars will be about control and access to clean water.
We’ll look at problems and solutions. We’ll lift up the work of a local non-profit organization, Friendly Water for the World, www.friendlywater.net, which has projects in Kenya, India, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, and Burundi, Afghanistan, and Honduras. The Mission of Friendly Water for the World is to expand access to low-cost clean water technologies and information about health and sanitation to people in need of them.
Friendly Water for the World began as a joint project between members of Olympic View Friends Church in Tacoma, Washington, and members of Olympia Friends Meeting, Olympia, Washington, through its Right Sharing of World Resources program. This collaboration between members of two Quaker congregations began four years before the official founding of Friendly Water for the World in January 2010.
With the official launch of Friendly Water for the World, the organization retains its commitment to Quaker testimonies that are ‘SPICES’ — Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship. Friendly Water is non-denominational, actively seeking to work with individuals from other faiths and traditions. They look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Hindu, Christian, Muslim, and other communities seeking ways to ensure safe and clean drinking water.
We begin the program by explaining what “expanding access to low-cost clean water” means. Friendly Water for the World empowers people to take charge of their own water quality, not dependent on government agencies or NGOs.
Friendly Water for the World BioSand Water Filters offer an elegantly simple technology that can remove up to 95-99% of bacteria and viruses, amoebae, protozoa, and worms, as well as metals, providing clean water for the family.
The Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST, www.cawst.org) is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. CAWST provided the training and consulting support to Friendly Water for the World. We are one of CAWST’s 400 clients that together have implemented projects in 63 countries and reached 9.3 million people with better water or sanitation through installations in homes, schools, orphanages, hostels, and clinics.
Filters are inexpensive, durable, and made of locally available materials (sand, gravel, and cement). A filter that provides clean water for a family costs approximately $50 and will work for up to 30 years with almost no maintenance needed. Making and installing BioSand Water Filters is a proven local micro-business that can and does create local jobs and generates needed income. Friendly Water for the World helps people help themselves. They jokingly refer to themselves as the “Anti-Charity Charity.”
This program’s three knowledgeable, articulate guests explain how individuals – rather than governments – can be effective in providing their own safe, clean water:
Ginny Stern is a professional hydrogeologist with the Office of Drinking Water (Division of Environmental Health) in the Washington State Department of Health. Ginny Stern is Friendly Water’s treasurer and a board member. She also helps with local training.
Wayne Medrud is the chief technical advisor for Friendly Water for the World. Wayne Medrud has taught BioSand water filter construction in India, Burundi, and Uganda.
Dennis Mills is a founding board member of Friendly Water for the World. Dennis Mills provides web and video support and serves on the Education Committee.
We recommend several good sources of information and opportunities for positive action: