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Innovations, lessons learned and good practices

Honduras 'Biosand filters: Improving health conditions in rural Honduran communities' (Innovation)

Year: 2009
Major Area: Young Child Survival and Development
Sub area: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Language: English

Household water treatment and safe storage methods have been documented to reduce diarrhoea disease by 29 per cent in children under five. UNICEF’s office in Honduras has been working, since 2009, in partnership with Agua Pura para el Mundo  to promote the use of biosand filters in rural communities in the Municipality of Las Trojes. The biosand filter is a simple, low-cost household water treatment technology.  As polluted water is poured into the container and through a diffuser plate, the bacteria are removed from the water by the biomass layer which is formed on the top of the sand. As the water passes through the layers of sand, any parasites become trapped.  The resulting treated water is not only improved in terms of its microbiological quality but also its aesthetic qualities including colour, taste and odour. Critical components of the project include training on operation and maintenance of the biosand filter; and hygiene promotion.  The project also includes a de-worming campaign and follow-up monitoring. The experiences suggest that a biosand filter is a simple and economically accessible technology in rural Honduran communities where there is no water supply system.

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