Water, Education, Research (WatER) is an interdisciplinary research project learning about how to sustainably increase access to safe drinking water in rural communities in East Africa, and specifically in the community of Longido, Tanzania.  As per the name, the work rests on 3 key pillars:

  1. Water: Water refers to the fact that the research project centers around a technology called a Ceramic Water Filter (CWF). A CWF is a low-cost water treatment system that is used in the homes of individual families, removing harmful contaminants like bacteria causing cholera, typhoid and E. coli poisioning. Part of this fund goes towards the purchase of filters from our local partner to study how they can be best integrated into the local culture and praxis.
  2. Education: This research also understands that the best technology in the world isn’t helpful unless people are willing to use it. And in work of this nature in the past, this fact has proven to be a major challenge. 3 years of consultation with local stakeholders have shown us how important education is to facilitate behaviour change in the rural Tanzanian context, which is why the second pillar of this work is focused on just that. We are providing women and schoolchildren with education on proper water, sanitation and hygiene practices.
  3. Research: The final pillar of this work is research, which takes form in both natural and social science contexts. Currently, the filters cost $50 CAD, which is well beyond the means of many people in rural Tanzania that often earn less than $1 per day, so a major element of this project is studying material manipulations to make the filters more affordable. In addition, we are not only focused on studying the technology, but are also investigating pedagogical methodology to learn how to ensure that the people using the technology will continue to use it in the long-term.

All of the money donated to this fund goes directly to supporting programs implemented in Longido, Tanzania, and experimental studies conducted in laboratories at Carleton University.