In 2015, Carleton University initiated an exploratory relationship with TEMBO examining water related challenges within the district of Longido. The initial plan was to bring expertise in water information to the community while listening to a variety of leaders, educators, and community members on water needs.
Water Taps in Longido Village
Through a series of meetings, Carleton faculty members managed to focus their water questions on the area of provision of improved (safe) water and education. Thus, after 3 years of meetings, pilots, and conversations, a team of faculty and students was able to come up with a plan to bring Ceramic Water Filters to the community. However, based on prior studies, it was clear that many projects fail to have long term impact because the water filters fall into disuse. Carleton was able to avoid this by implementing a program through TEMBO and working with groups of women in the Women's Literacy Program. As this program runs in cohorts that last 2-3 years, this gave the Carleton team an excellent opportunity to explore long term teaching and training with the filters to assess for water filter usage over an extended time period.
TEMBO Staff and Water FIlter Team, 2019
Dr. Ontia Basu, Associate Professor of Engineering at Carleton University noted, "We could not possibly have done the program without TEMBO, who have the connection and trust with the community. In addition, by partnering with an existing educational program it was a seamless transition for the women participating."
Onita's most favorite quote from the program was collected in an interview by one of the community water coordinators. A participant said to her, “ I always thought stomach pain was normal. But now with the filter, I have no more pain. It was because of the water” --
Distributing Filters, October 2021
Currently, the Carleton team is working with two literacy groups in the Longido District. These 80 women share the water filters with their immediate families and with others close by. In this way, the impact has been estimated to reach up to 400 people and they are hoping to add a third group in 2023.