Gansu is a province in the northwest of China, situated between the Tibetan Plateau and the Loess (Huangtu) Plateau. The northwest of China has a semi-arid to arid climate, meaning that precipitation levels are very low. For this reason, there is a water problem in many rural areas; many areas donâ€™t have access to safe drinking water.
The three of us went to Gansu province to build a biosand water filter (BSF) at a rural primary school and to train university students in Lanzhou how to build BSFs.
In Gansu, our partner project is â€œA Cup of Healthâ€. Two members from the project were kind enough to take us around Lanzhou to visit tourist spots and eat street food. Three students from this project (from Northwest Normal University è¥¿åŒ—å¸ˆèŒƒå¤§å¦) also joined us on our trip to Chenyuan (é™ˆå¡¬) Primary School.Â
The six of us arrived at Chenyuan at 5 PM on Friday after a 12-hour long bus journey. We sifted and washed rocks and sand until 8PM, had a home-cooked dinner at the home of the one of the schoolâ€™s teachers (Teacher Chen), and went to bed at 11 PM. The next morning, we woke up at 5:30 AM to continue sifting and washing. Long story short, we finished the BSF successfully by 11:30 AM just in time to catch the bus that comes at 12:30 PM only once a day.
We werenâ€™t just there to build a BSF. The three students from Northwest Normal University prepared a lesson about clean water for the children. Last time, students from the same organisation gave out reusable water bottles to the children. This time, they came with heaps of books to start a school library.
On Sunday morning, we conducted a BSF training session at Northwest Normal University. Julie did a great presentation on BSFs. This was followed by a very active question and answer session with the 10 university students who attended, after which we all went outside to make mini BSFs.
We would like to thank the China Environmental Protection Foundation for their support of this trip.
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