Evaluation of Water Survival Box Uganda Feb 2009


Dr Nigel Harris, University of Bath, visited Uganda with the Uganda aid project and reports on the field-trial of a new Water-Survival Box filtration system: 

A water survival box was taken out to Jinja in South East Uganda by Nigel Harris.  The project was presented to the Source of Nile Rotary Club and the box was taken to the Nile Vocational Training Institute (NVI) for use at a village where they have a Community Based Training (CBT) project. 

Following consultation with Rogers Banyenzaki, NVI CBT co-ordinator, the box was taken out to the Bulunga village for evaluation (see attached pictures). The village grows crops to provide income.   

The main source of water for the village is a water spring which is in poor condition and is not protected (the pump for the tube well having been stolen some years previously).  One of the purposes of our visit was to build a protective wall around the source.  The other source of water is run off rain water.  This is collected and stored in a large cistern.  There are around 400 people in the local community, they seemed quite happy with their current supply and this water was used to cook with during our stay. 

The demonstration was to one of the community leaders, someone from the local press, a council representative and some of the ladies (see pictures). It was translated by one of the residents who spoke good English. They understood that the box was primarily intended for emergency use when good quality water was not available. I explained that in their situation, it could also be used as a source of high quality water for young babies or children and if they were sick. 

We filled the box with local water (this is transported in the yellow plastic 4 gallon drums).  We added one tablet, which dissolved well and timed it for 20 minutes. The wait was a source of frustration, but they understood the need for this.  We then connected the pump and filled up one of the clear plastic containers. 

The water was excellent and had a clean taste.  The people were impressed, particularly when then saw it was as good as bottled water. The box was left in the village and Rogers has subsequently demonstrated it to a larger group with very good feedback. 

Comments and observations 

The box worked very well, it produced 1 gallon of good quality water very quickly.  

Pictorial instructions need to be printed on the box (separate bits of paper will go missing) it is unclear how many tablets should be used to treat the contents.

There may be no means of timing in the village could a mechanical timer be attached to the box?

Nigel Harris, April 2009

Photographs showing the Water Box evaluation session


The village community centre. The large tank on the left stores rain water.