What is Fluorosis?The village of Minjingu in northern Tanzania consists of about 7000 members of the Masai tribe, mostly farmers and cattle ranchers, living in basic conditions.
The village does not have potable water infrastructure and residents are forced to rely on seasonal ponds and cisterns for all their needs.
Unfortunately, these water sources contain extremely high concentrations of fluoride.
Standard concentrations of fluoride in drinking water range from 1-2 mg per liter, while the water sources in Minjingu contain concentrations of up to 30 mg per liter.
Drinking water containing high levels of fluoride can lead to a malady known as "fluorosis", which is typically expressed by any of the following symptoms: Damage to teeth and the general oral cavity (cleft lip), severe bone deformities and irreversible damage to skeletal development.
Affected children in the village lack adequate medical attention and are often left isolated from the rest of the villagers.
Our goal – creating a reliable potable water sourceThere are a number of engineering solutions that can be applied to purify drinking water with high fluoride concentrations, each with its own unique characteristics.
Our goal is to work with the local community in order to find the most suitable solution for them. Only the most sustainable solution that can be maintained by the local community will be selected so that it can serve for a long period of time and at minimal cost.
So where will the money go?The project is intended to be a long term and will require multiple trips for implementation and maintenance.
The work is thus divided into three basic stages: Assessment, implementation, and follow up.
Implementing an engineering solution that meets the needs of the community requires extensive preparatory work.
First of all, we wish to perform extensive water tests. These tests will be performed by local organizations and academic institutions whom with we are in constant correspondence.
Additionally, we are organizing a small delegation of two professionals to fly to Minjingu, in order to best understand the needs of the community.
The delegation will stay with the community and work with villagers in determining which solution could be best incorporated into their lives.
With the information from this first delegations we will be able to research and implement the best possible solution for the community.
Let’s talk numbers:
Water testing equipment and preliminary preparations for the trip in Israel are financed by the organization Engineers Without Borders (EWB).
Tickets to Tanzania:
1390 x2 = $2780
50 x2 = $100
20 x2 = $40
53 x2 = $106
Water tests and additional expenses:
Equivalent to NIS 14,330.
There should be mentioned that partial funding for the water tests already exists (donated by the Tel Aviv University), and extra funding which was collected in a fundraiser.
A few words about the organizationMy name is Mayan, and I am part of the Tanzania project under the Israeli branch of the organization "Engineers without Borders".
Engineers Without Borders Israel (EWBI) is part of the worldwide organization EWB, a non-profit organization that operates in more than forty countries. EWBI is working to improve the quality of life of the population in Israel and the populations of developing countries around the world, through education and engineering solutions.
Members include students and professionals in the fields of engineering, economics, environment, health, education and society. The projects are carried out in close cooperation with local communities and organizations to enhance the community and local leadership.
The technologies applied are simple, sustainable, relatively cheap and easy to operate and maintain. Collaboration with communities is long-term, to ensure the success of projects over time.
You can read more about the organization at:
Enter the project's Facebook page or website for further information.
Asante! Thank you!