Affordable Safe Drinking Water
In Cambodia, nearly two-thirds of the rural population is without access to a safe water source. Unclean water poses a special threat to small children as water-borne disease is a major contributor to Cambodia's under-five mortality rate of 83 per 1,000 live births, one of the highest rates in Asia. Water-borne illnesses also result in lost labor productivity for households, and missed school days for children.
To combat this probem, iDE introduced and scaled up manufacture of the "Rabbit" brand Ceramic Water Purifier (CWP), a low-cost household filter originally designed in Central America and popularized by Ron Rivera of Potters for Peace. The CWP is produced locally using clay mixed with rice husk, which is formed into a pot shape using a press mold. The rice husk burns away during firing, leaving a porous filter element. A silver solution is then applied to the surfaces of the fired clay as a bactericide, after which it is set for use in a plastic receptacle tank with a lid and a spigot to prevent recontamination of the water. The filter element holds approximately 10 litres (2.64 gallons), allowing a family to produce 30 litres (7.93 gallons) of water per day with three fillings, or more if required.
A Bold New Direction in Manufacturing
iDE undertook extensive testing of CWP performance and worked with a local pottery cooperative to established production facilities and distribution channels. iDE also established the "Rabbit" brand for the CWP and conducted a nationwide multichannel social marketing campaign for the filter.
In 2009, iDE spun off the ceramic filter project to create Hydrologic, a commercially-driven social enterprise that aims to become the premier distributor of effective and affordable safe water and household sanitation products throughout Cambodia.
A Milestone for The Rabbit
In order to teach rural families about the benefits of owning a CWP, iDE launched a nationwide multichannel social marketing campaign for the filter, including broadcast radio and TV, billboards, school visits, and point- of-purchase displays.
In June 2008, we celebrated the sale and distribution of 100,000 CWPs in Cambodia. To commemorate the occasion, and further market the product, we produced this short film for Cambodian television. We have since passed the 200,000 filter milestone in November 2011.