NELSON Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) has partnered with Gongali Model and Zambian based company- Sport Agro to introduce the 'Nanofilter' water purification system to the neighbouring country of Zambia to help address waterborne diseases by providing clean and safe water.
The NM-AIST lecturer, Dr Askwar Hilonga who recently received a distinguished award by the World Health Organisation (WHO) at a summit in Geneva for his nano innovations to address health problems, said that the technology is used to purify and remove bacteria and fluoride from water.
Dr Hilonga made the remarks in Arusha over the weekend when handing over certificates to 24 graduates of two weeks training and entrepreneurship course on using Nanofilter from Copper Belt in Zambia.
He said currently the project financed by the Southern Africa Innovation Support (SAIS) and Tanzania government through the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) here reached various regions including Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Manyara, Mwanza and Dar es Salaam.
Thus it was time to send the technology to Zambia to help address challenges brought by waterborne diseases. "We train Tanzania and Zambian youth on how to run the system, Nanofilter kiosk as well as provide entrepreneurship skills," he said noting that Zambia has shown great interest on the simple water technology and decided to send their people to acquire the knowledge.
He said in Kenya, the water technology has been introduced in Kakamega since last year where already there are ten Nanofilter kiosk and demand for the system is very high.
"Our objective is to extend the simple water technology to all regions in the country as well as the whole African continent in different phases that will compliment governments in addressing waterborne diseases," he noted.
Dr Hilonga's contribution to expanding access to safe water and reduce the risk of waterborne diseases among rural communities was recognised at the 72nd World Health Assembly this year, where he received the 2019 United Arab Emirates Health Foundation Prize.
Dr Hilonga, a nanotechnology engineer, obtained a PhD in Chemistry in South Korea. In 2015, at the age of 38, he launched his model of a water purification Nanofilter that earned him the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation from the British Royal Academy of Engineering.
On his part, the Sport Agro Manager, Musenga Silwawa, commended the SAIS, NM-AIST, Gongali Model and Tanzania government for introducing the project in Zambia that will help reduce and ultimately end diseases like typhoid and other waterborne diseases.
He said Copper Belt and other places in Zambia use unsafe water creating huge need for the water purification system to remove bacteria and fluoride from water.