Bio Sand Water Filters - Uganda

Filtering instead of boiling: The new way to clean drinking water in Uganda

Bio Sand Water Filters - UGANDA

Installation of bio-sand-waterfilters in order to gently purify the water from existing sources.


Addressed issue / objectives

  • Installation of 1,000 bio-sand-waterfilters
  • Training of the community's farmers and craftsmen in how to operate the waterfilters
  • Training on how to build new waterfilters

Project budget

Total project costs: 22 229 €

Funding amount: 17 100 €

Cotton company contribution: 5 129 €


Project location

  • Districts of Abim, Kaplebyong, Dokolo and Kaberamaido in north-east Uganda, Africa

Project benefits

Around 1,000 CmiA farmers, mainly women and the members of their households (an estimated 10,000 community members) benefit from the intervention.


Project status / duration

November 2023 - today

The way of building bio-sand-waterfilters

Project details


Drinking water is in short supply 

During the needs analysis by MMP Agro, the communities emphasised the lack of clean drinking water as a major problem. The villagers obtain their water from nearby springs. However, this must be boiled before it can be consumed, otherwise it can make people ill. But firewood and charcoal are not always available. Moreover, the demand for firewood is depleting the local forests.



Bio-sand-waterfilters can solve the problem

Bio-sand-waterfilters are very effective in purifying water and removing all bacteria and impurities, making the water drinkable without the need to boil it. Bio-sand-waterfilters can purify up to 20 litres of water per hour, providing safe, clean water for the entire household. The bio-sand-waterfilter is a constructed frame filled with layers of sand and gravel that slowly purifies the water. It is made from locally available materials that are not harmful to humans or the environment. Its use is free of any risks or hazards for the user or the environment.


As part of a joint project between the GoodTextiles Foundation, the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) (owner of the CmiA standard) and MMP Agro, farmers who grow CmiA cotton in the districts of Abim, Kaplebyong, Dokolo and Kaberamaido in north-east Uganda are now receiving a total of around 1,000 bio-sand-waterfilters. Around 1,000 CmiA farmers, mainly women and the members of their households (an estimated 10,000 community members) benefit from this. The funds - 17,100 euros were provided by the GoodTextiles Foundation and 5,129 euros were added by the cotton company - are currently being used to build the bio-sand-waterfilters.

When the project was started, the plan was to build 150 bio-sand-waterfilters. In the meantime it has turned out that the donated money makes 1,000 bio-sand-waterfilters possible.


How is the purification of the water ensured?

Cotton made in Africa: "Regarding the assessment of purified water quality, before the finalization, we sent samples to the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), and in the result we got The samples undergo thorough testing for pH levels, contaminants, and microbial content to ensure that the purified water meets the required quality standards.


Additionally, after distribution, we have a proactive plan in place. We will take random sampling from various areas and send these samples both to NWSC and some laboratories in Uganda for further analysis. This post-distribution testing will help us maintain the highest standards and ensure the ongoing quality of the purified water.”



Long-term, sustainable help beyond the duration of the project

The lifespan of the bio-sand-waterfilters is estimated to be at least 15 years, making them a long-term solution for households.


MMP AGRO will also train farmers and local craftsmen in the community in the construction of bio-sand-waterfilters in order to expand the project. This will ensure that new filters can be built even after the 15-year lifespan of the filters and that additional filters can be built locally for other community members and beyond.

Mesurable results

Output - Availability of drinking water, knowledge about how to build bio sand filters and replicate them with local materials. 

Outcome - Reduced rate of waterborne diseases, improved living conditions especially for women.

SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation

Download the report

This project is part of the CmiA Community Cooperation Programme
The CmiA Community Cooperation Programme 2023

This project has already started. We would be happy to inform you about other projects.

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Volksbank Bocholt eG

IBAN DE39 4286 0003 0274 7722 00