First Water Filter Distribution for the 2020-21 Season

As expected, donations have been down this year, yet we have still been able to distribute water filters for two villages with the first truckload. It is always exciting for us, knowing as the villagers do, that we are about to change their lives for the better, by improving health of the villagers and village in general, reduced medical costs from diarrhea caused by water borne bacteria, increasing yields in the rice fields with more productivity by healthier people, and hope. The villagers soon realize, by all the labels on the water filters, that there are a lot of people they will never meet, but care about them.

Siphan, AAVIL’s Lao coordinator teaches the village families about filter maintenance, hygiene and how to protect themselves against Covid.

Management and Coordination of the distribution is a lot tougher than it looks, especially without our usual visitors to assist. There is no physical distancing here because there is no Covid here, with borders essentially closed. The few cases that entered Laos were caught at the border and sent to the capital city for quarantine and hospitalization.

Filters have been prepped with the unpacking, labelling and organized. In the distance, one of the locals does the final count, to ensure every filter is accounted for.

This filter is destined for use in the public school, located behind the camera, the only place large enough to do the distribution.

In total 223 water filters were distributed and there are 17 in storage for the next distribution. Currently we are just 35 filters shy of a second truck load that will hold 256 systems.

Meanwhile, 5.6km of pipe has been ordered for the main water project this year, in the village of Poung Jong. There, a dam will be built, water tank, 10 taps in the village and the burying of 5.6km of pipe. With the pipe expected to arrive in 2 days, the project will be underway.

Nothing has been simple this year with Covid. No travel to the country means our regular processes for filter distribution, signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for each village, construction and so much more, is more difficult than imagined, despite heavy planning. So far so good though with better days to come and happier people too!

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