I don't know which I like more: the fact that a group called Potters for Peace actually exists, or the fact they seem to be quiet superheroes.
Specifically, they make a ceramic water filter which, it would appear, is high-tech (colloidal-silver-saturated earthenware), low-cost, easy-to-use and filters out "approximately 99.88% of most water born disease agents." They also make energy-efficient kilns. It makes me inexplicably happy to know that the potters are throwing down for sustainability.
Their numbers are completely amazing: the filters are made locally in places like Nicaragua and Guatemala and retail for around $9. Skilled potters can set up a production line in a couple of weeks, and an actual press to crank filters out at the rate of several dozen a day costs about three or four thosand dollars (if I remember right - it might have been $800).
$3/year for potable water (a filter lasts about three years) with local skills and local materials. This is the good stuff.
quiet superheroes is right. i know one of the potters, lynette yetter, who is truly a superhero. she gives of herself unselfishly, and really struggles to promote the ability of indigenous people to be self sustaining in an increasingly complex world. i would definitely encourage anyone who is interested in supporting a project that really directly effects the lives of the people it professes to, to contact potters for peace.
"...the potters are throwing down..."
Ouch, that was really bad ;]
Here are some web sites with more ceramic filter information:
POTTERS FOR PEACE
UN Brochure on Ceramic filter Technology
Publicación de la Naciones Unidas sobre el filtro
: http://www.ideassonline.org/bros_view_eng.asp?id=28 (ENGLISH)
USAID REPORT on the Ceramic Water filter (Danielle Latange,CDC):
Informe financiado por USAID sobre el filtro
INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ENTERPRISES :
GUATEMALA (AFA GUATEMALA FITLER
PRACTICA FOUNDATION/HOLLAND Small Smart Water Solutions book
Engineers without borders
CAMBODIA: RECOURSE DEVELOPMENT INTERNATIONAL
NICARAGUA FILTRON (in Spanish)
NEPAL AND INDIA filters
SWISS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY:
Poverty Alleviation as a Business