The distribution of Solvatten water filter in Vila, Ataúro island, was followed by some interviews to the users, which allowed us to discover some great stories, like the one from Mateus Da Costa. Mateus was born and risen in Macadade, but he has been living in Vila the last three years. He is a pastor in the Protestant church in Vila, and his wife sells clothes at Beloi’s market every Saturday. They have two children, aged 5 years, and 5 months. He told us that sometimes people thought that they were using a contraception method (not socially accepted in the culture) but he said that it was just they way that God wanted it to be.
Besides his direct family, he also has three students living in his house: two of them are his nephews from Macadade, and the other one comes from Liquiça, a district in the main land. They are all attending the public school in Vila, and it is easier for them to sleep there instead of travelling every morning from their houses to the school. The family incomes, in average, are USD90 - USD100, depending on the sells that they make every Saturday. But when he saw one of the posters advertising the Solvatten in a local shop, he thought that it was a great opportunity for his family. During the day they are working, and sometimes when they came back from work they didn’t have boiled water, so if they were thirsty they had to wait almost half an hour. He was also concerned about the fact that a lot of trees are being cut down to get firewood, and now that his family owns a Solvatten, they can reduce the amount of wood that his family consumes. He realizes how important it is to drink clean water, and he wants to talk about the Solvatten benefits in the church. He thinks that if more people would know about the water filter, they would be interested, although not all of them could afford to buy it. For him, it was relatively easy to get the money because he has a more or less stable salary, but for those with variable incomes, it is more complicated to save USD20 to buy the product, the price that has already been subsidized for more than 80% of the original price to help the poor access the technology.
When we interviewed him, Mateus and his wife were helping to build the house of the sub village chief and he felt that he was very dirty. So when we asked him if we could take a picture, he went to tell his wife but he came back saying that his wife didn’t want to appear in the picture because she was too shy and that she wasn’t wearing the appropriate clothe. Mateus agreed to appear in the picture, but only if he could be sitting on a chair (that way he wouldn’t be showing his dusty legs!). Next week we are starting the d.light S250 users’ interviews, so we will be able to share with you some new interesting experiences.