Ceramic Weapons of Mass Bacterial Destruction: produced locally to help make water potable at the household level, worldwide.

Ceramic Weapons of Mass Bacterial Destruction: produced locally to help make water potable at the household level, worldwide.

Project Summary
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Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Utilizing a social franchise model put a dent in the Millennium Goal to “Halve the proportion of people who are unable to reach or afford safe drinking water” through increasing the sustainable production and marketing of a low cost locally produced ceramic water filter.

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Positioning of your initiative on the mosaic diagram:
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Public information alone doesn’t change behaviors

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Move people up the sanitation ladder

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic

This field has not been completed

What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?

Utilizing a social franchise model put a dent in the Millennium Goal to “Halve the proportion of people who are unable to reach or afford safe drinking water” through increasing the sustainable production and marketing of a low cost locally produced ceramic water filter.

Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?

For 24 years I have been promoting this technology in several countries without success. Not because the filter did not work, but because by simply training potters how to produce the filter was not enough to make it a household word.
For the past 7 years by promoting local Social Franchises between local pottery producers and interested investors (Private and NGO's) Potters for Peace has been able to promote a low cost technology for reaching the Millennium Target goal for safe water. The model is directed at working with existing “ for profit” companies that are interested in fulfilling one of the greatest needs of today: Low cost potable water.
Over the past 7 years 25 small scale locally owned filter production facilities have been established in 19 countries reaching 1.5 million end users. Depending on the country where it is produced you can buy a complete filter for eight to thirty dollars and it will provide 48-60 liters of potable water a day.

Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?

Private enterprises, churches, governmental agencies, NGO’s and donors review our web site for sustainable ways of making water potable at the household level . Posted guidelines help self evaluate the feasibility of this alternative. An e-mail dialog is initiated until most of the local required inputs are attained. The dialogue can lead to training or a technical assistance relationship which could include a feasibility study, in-house training, training in another production site or accompaniment over the internet with suggestions and technical

How do you plan to expand your innovation?

Through outreach on the internet and increased partnering with existing private enterprises, NGO’s , Universities, professional organizations and governmental agencies we have been able to expand the technology to 19 countries .
By partnering with universities we have been able to make the most of field / laboratory studies and on going research around the world. By sharing technical drawings, production videos, educational material, studies and anwer questions over the internet, we build a critical mass of producers while sharing information worldwide.
By participating in international forums (2000 UNDP Johannesburg, Kyoto Water Forum, the Mexico Water Forum, local and international organizations have had the opportunity to actually see the filter work in real life.
Though continuous research and development (R&D) shareholders take ownership of the program, improve it and share their findings with other producers. By generating more privately owned filter production facilities we prove that the technology is replicable and profitable. We still need to train more trainers to meet the growing demand for production facilities..

Do you have any existing partnerships, and if so, how do you create them?

The following is a list of the existing ceramic water filter facilities and our partners World Wide. Each partnership in each country is created individually, based on their needs and inputs.
Country/Production partners Guatemala
AFA/Guatemala (www.ecofiltro.com )
Guatemala Foundacion San Mateo (www.ixtatan.org )
Honduras (filtrosandreus2006@yahoo.es)
El Salvador CORDES fasmaro@yahoo.com
Nicaragua FILTRON www.filtronnica.com)
Nicaragua Aqua Filtro: martin_2907@hotmail.com>
Nicaragua Rodolfo Varela" <varj58@gmail.com>
Cuba CITA boris@rhcita.co.cu
Dominican .Republic IDEAC/ Oxfam (http://www.ideac.org.do/filtro
Ghana: www. ceramicatamakloe.com
West Darfur/Sudan : OXFAM/UK
Sri Lanka: Red Cross: Omar Rahaman" <orahaman@amcrossasia.org>
Bali Peter Bleecke <bfdwfilter@yahoo.com>
Cambodia RDI (www.rdic.org/waterceramicfiltration.htm )
Red Cross www.ide-international.org/Page.asp?NavID=210
Cambodia IDE: www.ide-international.org/Page.asp?NavID=210
Myanmar edwards@mandalay.net.mm
Yemen : www.gtz.de (sammirab@yahoo.com)
Kenya : chujioceramics@gmail.com
Benin: Songhai Centre: centre_songhai@yahoo.fr
Colombia: Oxfam/UK FVidal@oxfam.org.uk
Tanzania (Tabora)Rainer und Gabi Bacher" <r.g.bacher@gmx.de>
USA, California :jonfwilliams@gmail.com
Canada: www.potterswithoutborders.org
Somaliland (German Red Cross)
Nigeria (Princeton University) soboyejo@Princeton.EDU

Partnering organizations:
Holland www.practicafoundation.nl
India : watersafe@hetnet.nl Nepal Solutions Benefiting Life
Enterprise Works www.enterpriseworks.org
MIT web.mit.edu/watsan/img_nicaragua_ceramic.htm Princeton: www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S18/58/15O40/index.xml?section=to
ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS: www.edc-cu.org/filtron.htm
www.thirst-aid.org (thirstaid1@gmail.com)
Save the Children:

Provide one sentence describing your impact/intended impact.

To make a real dent in the UN Millennium Goals MDG 7 target 10) in each country that a production facility exists. See example of calculation per country, below.

What are the main barriers to creating or achieving your impact?

1) The lack of real political commitment to implement Point of Use (PoU) safe water systems to meet the UN DMG by local authorities and NGO’s.

2) The lack of more creative and aggressive low cost promotional and marketing of the filter with basic hygiene training at all levels, that will NOT affect its present low price.

How many people have you served or plan to serve?

To date over 1.5 million people are using or have used the filter worldwide and this number is growing.
We will try to meet the Millennium Goals for each country that a production facility is present.


This field has not been completed


This field has not been completed

Please list any other measures of the impact of your innovation?

- Number of new trainings and production facilities
- Number of sustainable factories that keep producing each year.
- Increase in sales to the general public, public institutions and NGO’s
- Increase in daily filter production per facility
-Over 40 field , laboratory and impact Studies carried out by MIT, University or Colorado, Princeton, Tulane, University of Virginia, University, University of Colorado, Princeton, Tulane, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Wisconsin, John Hopkins School of Public Health, Harvard, Oxford, University of Cambridge, Bristol, USAID, UNICEF, Red Cross ,
And more, have studied the effectiveness of the filter which leads to improved at the community level.

Is there a policy intervention element to your innovation, if so please describe?

Intervention guidelines are printed on our web site for potential partners to reflect on and initiate a dialog for further development. PFP made a political decision to make the technology open source so that others could start up production with (preferred) or without our in-house technical assistance

Exactly who are the beneficiaries of your innovation?

1) The organizations (shareholders) that participate in the Social Franchise

2) The organizations and their employees that produce and market the ceramic water filter

3) The local populations (end user) that use the filter to make their drinking water potable .

4) The nations that have a healthier population:
By calculating the MG estimates for each country we can calculate the number of people that do not have potable water in each country then estimate production plans at each facility to meet that goal …)

How is your initiative financed (or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)?

PFP is a grassroots organization; our North American members donate pottery they make themselves which in turn is sold at local street fairs throughout the US. We take this opportunity to offer the general public information on PFP objectives and work.

These funds make up our yearly budget. PFP also receives small donations from foundations, churches and donors to carry out our technical assistance and training work. All investments for local filter production facilities (equipment etc) must be provided by the local partner.. This includes PFP transportation to the site, room and board during the 3 week training. If local partners can pay a training fee this is charged on a sliding scale. Studies and research on the technology are all financed by partnering Universities.

Provide information on your finances and organization:

2006 Income $94,005 / 2006 Expenses $72,732
2007 Income $111,216 / 2007 Expenses - $104,113
2008 Proposed budget-income $106,000 2007 / Proposed Expenses $104,000

Income is generated by donors (30%), grants (30%) and fund raiser sales (40%)
by our members of donated pottery and Nicaraguan pottery.

What is the potential demand for your innovation?

Example: To meet the MDG, Nigeria must provide 1,866 new people a day with safe water for the next 8 years. Estimating a family of 5 using one filter, 375 families a day must be served. If we could produce this amount of filters (very do able) and get them to the people who need them we could put a dent in those requirement in a sustainable way.

Staff: one full time staff, one ½ time staff, sporadic volunteers, sporadic
sub-contracted trainers

What are the main barriers to financial sustainability?

Since most of the partners are already sustainable pottery producers they are also interested in making the filter production a lucrative form of income generation. The principle barrier is the high costs of promotion and marketing of the product that if added to the costing of the filtering unit can distance the filter from the people it was designed to serve.

The Story
What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.

2000 - PFP under demands for a low cost, effective and mass produced filter for use with the Hurricane Mitch disaster victims, changes the original hand made filter design (invented by Guatemala chemist : Fernando Mazariegos) to a semi-industrial hydraulic method , standardizing its shape and size. The initial idea for the transfer of technology to other countries utilizing a Social Franchise system starts to evolve.

2001- Daniele Latange / MIT with USAID funding carries out a 200 page study on the effectiveness of the filter. To date forty more studies have been carried out by 15 Universities in the US, UK, Canada and local..

2002- Partners trained in Honduras, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Cuba

2003 The Practica/Foundation (Holland) supports international promotional efforts: participation in World Water Forum, Kyoto. Partners trained in Mexico, Nepal, Guatemala, Ghana

2004- Cambodian Red Cross/ IDE awarded the World Bank Marketplace grant to produce the filter.
UN publishes: www.ideassonline.org/bros_view_eng.asp?id=28

2005- CT Filtron/Ghana awarded the local World Bank Marketplace Grant.
Filter participates at the World Water Forum/Mexico

2006: Academy of Science selects filter for “Mobilizing Science-based Enterprises” http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11997,
Filter presentation at the UN Committee on Sustainable Development NY

2007: The Smithsonian Institution selects filter for “Design For The Other 90% “. UNICEF funds an extensive study on the filter.
PFP starts experiments with a second filter technology.

Urs Heirling publishes: ‘Why is so Hard to Bring Safe Water to the Poor and so Profitable to Sell it to the Rich? Recognizing the technology as a significant cost/effective solution.

The WHO publishes : http://www.who.int/household_water/advocacy/combating_disease/en/index.html

2008- The CDC publishes Technology Updates on the filter.
World Bank funds extensive study for the marketing of the filter in Nicaragua

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material

Ron Rivera
Sociologist, potter and appropriate technology enthusiast. Learned how to make the original hand made ceramic filter from Guatemalan inventor Fernando Mazariegos in 1984. Since then he turned the hand made model into a semi- Industrially manufactured Ceramic Weapon of Mass Bacterial destruction through Potters for Peace and its partners it is now being produced in 19 countries. He is 59 and hopes to help establish at least 100 such locally owned self sustaining factories by 2020.