By Nguyen Van Ty and Ngo Quoc Dung.
Recently, I (Ty) had a chance to visit Truong Quoc Hoan and his family in Nha May village in Quan Chu commune in northern Vietnam. As his parents’ first son, Hoan, who is 47, his wife and their two children live with his parents in a traditional extended family that you see often in rural Vietnam. The family earns their living planting tea and (rice) paddy. And, Hoan does some carpentry for his neighborhood from time to time.
Like many other families in the village, Hoan’s family uses water from a drilled well – even though the water has strange smell and usually leaves a thin layer of opalescent dregs at the bottom and on side of cooking pots after each use. Until now, to cope with this, Hoan or his wife clean their pots quite often. But now, that is in the past, thanks to a change Hoan made after joining a CWS info-sharing workshop about biosand water filtering, which helps to not only clean dirt and stone residue but also remove bacteria and parasites. After talking to the village leader and the head of Women’s Union after the presentation, Hoan signed up to make a biosand water filter for his family with technical support from CWS. Now, after simple filtration, the water has no smell and tastes the same as expensive bottled water from the store. The family is happy in using the filtered water for drinking and cooking, and they think that every family can make one because it is low-cost and easy to use – requiring no electricity and almost no operation cost.
For us, Dung and Ty, there is one thing Hoan does not know yet: his family story is so encouraging to us that it re-energizes us and increases our motivation and belief in working to help bring improved community health through each and every biosand water filter we help families make and learn to use.
*Nguyen Van Ty is CWS Vietnam WASH Program Officer and Ngo Quoc Dung is CWS Vietnam Country Representative.
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