Abundant Water has been on the ground in Laos since 2011, working to make clean water more easily accessible.
Availability of water in Laos
Laos has an abundance of water - however, a large proportion of the population live in remote villages without access to a reliable supply of clean drinking water.
This inadequate supply of drinking water, along with poor sanitation, sewerage and hygiene causes a high incidence of gastro-intestinal diseases, such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and cholera. The World Bank estimates that each year in Laos there are 3 million cases of disease and 6,000 premature deaths directly linked to unclean water and poor sanitation.
Introduction of clay water filters
In 2011 we established our training compound and filter production facility. We also trained five potters from remote villages to produce clay-pottery water filters. The course lasted five weeks and at the completion of training course all of the potters were able to produce a filter that produced drinking water that met the Laos national drinking water standard.
Initially, we travelled to 12 villages to conduct water use surveys, take water samples for testing and find our trainees. We used our new filter production facility as a training resource to communicate how to use the filter correctly and why it is important to do so. We also managed to capture the training process and produce a training video and a Lao language booklet.
Where we are now
Abundant Water has continued to build on the momentum we have created over the past 8 years of producing and distributing ceramic water filters to communities all around Laos.
As we have grown, we have seen a significant increase in local community members joining us in our work of increasing access to clean drinking water. Whether it is local health officials working with us to train water filter recipients, teachers and students learning about how to maintain water filters, or vendors joining our growing small business network, the growth we have seen has been encouraging to see.
Over the past year alone, in schools, health clinics, and households across Laos, over 2,600 ceramic water filters have been produced, distributed, and installed, providing improved access to clean drinking water to an estimated 22,236 people.
Over 800 of those filters were distributed through our vendor networks, and demand for locally produced, low-cost ceramic water filters is higher than it has ever been. We look forward to continuing to work with communities and our partners to bring clean water to rural communities around Laos.