Since 2011 Mario Benevides and his staff have partnered with numerous organizations and church groups to construct and install biosand filters in dozens of villages throughout Nicaragua. These filters are made of all locally-sourced materials, including sand, pvc, and containers. When a recipient is unable to afford a filter, he or she is required to contribute “sweat equity” to the construction and installation process; this can include such critical elements as sifting and washing sand, drilling holes in the containers, or delivering completed filters to recipients’ homes.
In May of 2014, ACI traveled to Southern Nicaragua to build 210 Bio-Sand Filters in the near by villages of the Papaturro River Region.
In the weeks leading up to the trip, Mario and his team had already cut and drilled all of the needed PVC pipes. These materials were then trucked to San Carlos. In San Carlos they were packed onto a small wooden ferry to be brought on the four hour journey to the Papaturro River Region.
There, the team worked five full days to install 186 of the 210 planned BSFs, but most importantly they taught the village leaders how to build the remaining filters and what they need to do to maintain them.
To date, nearly 3,000 biosand filters have been installed in Nicaragua.