Nonie Kaban
Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 13:13

By Nonie Kaban
Program Director

Where does water come from?

In my first month with Kopernik, I had the opportunity to join our field team in Bojonegoro and Tuban, East Java, to support the distribution of Nazava water filters, a project my colleague Apri described in his recent blog.

In Tuban we met with Mr Usman, the head of UPTD Palang District, to seek permission to distribute water filters in schools. In this district, we will start by distributing water filters to 14 Indonesia Heritage Foundation kindergartens.

From Tuban we travelled to Bojonegoro to distribute Nazava water filters to three more kindergartens: PKK Manukan Kindergarten, Cengungklung Muslim Kindergarten and Kartini Ngraho Kindergarten.

How do you convince five year olds about the importance of drinking safe water - and lots of it? We started with colourful pictures and questions.

“Where does water come from?”
“The sky!”
“From God!”
“From rain!” they answered.

“What is your favourite drink?”

“Marimas!” (Marimas is a sugary powder you add to water to make it sweet and colourful.)

In addition to learning about the importance of clean water, children also learned about the benefits of drinking two litres, or eight glasses, of water each day. It is essential because water helps brain development and assists blood circulation, building a healthy body. Drinking lots of water is particularly important in this region of East Java because of the hot climate.

We shared this information with children, and also with their parents. The parents were interested to learn that the Nazava water filter makes water safe to drink without having to boil the water.

In addition to the health benefits of drinking filtered water, Nazava water filters can also save families money, because they don't need to buy purified water or use expensive fuel to boil water.

Parents can buy Nazava water filters from the teachers’ cooperative. We hope that as they see their children enjoying the convenience of drinking water from the Nazava, they will decide to buy one to provide safe, clean drinking water at home.

Our final call was to Gayam 1 State Primary School. We checked in on the water filter that had already been distributed, to see how it was being used and whether there were any problems. When we met with one of the teachers, she said that at each break the children go straight to the Nazava filter to drink water from it. This is a welcome change from drinking sugary Marimas during breaks.

By connecting simple water filter technology with kindergartens in East Java, we’re helping thousands of children stay healthy with clean water. When I return to Bojonegoro and Tuban and ask kids where water comes from, I wonder how many will answer, “from Nazava!”?