People living in the rural areas of Tanzania use water from natural lakes to wash, clean and also to cook and to drink. The top priority of Engarre is to grant people access to pure drinkable water. Consuming clean water without bacteria is an important condition to maintain good health. Rain water from the lake is softer compared to the highly mineralized water from deep levels underground, which is taken out by the few private water wells in the area. But lake water is not suitable for immediate drinking, nor really good for immediate cooking without prior purifying or filtering, even though local people use it with no adjustment, they only let it boil.
Compared to the water from lake, collected rain water stored in water tanks is much more cleaner. This water looks pure usually - although it should also be boiled prior to consumption as the rain rinses roofs of all the dust and dirt left there by birds.
The team of Engarre tested home-made water filters back in Europe to see how they work. They make a big difference and can turn originally much dirty water into clean one. Even after such cleaning the filtered water should be boiled to kill any remaining bacteria. It is fine for "emergency", but is not a solution for daily use. Our colleagues also tried to repeat the same filtering in Africa, but without much success yet - the problem was finding enough suitable material like good charcoal, gravel, sand or filtering paper. What is at hand in one country is not easily available in another.
In the end no matter if local people use natural rain water from lakes, rain water from their own roofs or if they use water from wells, a water purifier is needed. The project of Engarre is to help rural communities in Tanzania without access to clean water install water purifiers and / or distribute suitable water filters for households. Consuming clean water is a condition of healthy life. Access to clean water and sanitation as well as good health and well being are high on the list of The Sustainable Delevopement Goals as pubished by the United Nations.