The Dertig Facility, near the larger city of Hammanskraal, is up and running! Manager Nkosi Ndebele is working on fine-tuning our filter recipe to produce the optimal flow rates in the filters. The Dertig Facility has become a community fixture and many people from the area are excited to be involved in filter production as well as tending to the garden that was planted last year. We continue to work with our community partner Khulisa Social Solutions and are looking to grow our sales in the next year.
Khulisa Social Solutions, a South African NGO which addresses social vulnerabilities and helps build up grass-root projects, is PureMadi’s community partner in this second facility. Khulisa has worked on various projects which emphasize poverty alleviation, crime reduction, victim empowerment, enterprise development and community support. Over the course of a year, Khulisa project manager Zain Halle and PureMadi President Rebecca Kelly negotiated and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for the two organizations to work under as they develop the second facility. Khulisa plans to initiate marketing efforts in the Hammanskraal area once the facility is closer to completion.
In the summer of 2014, Board Member Jim Smith along with Officers Rebecca Kelly, Theresa Hackett, and Sydney Schrider selected a site location for the second facility in the North West province in the city of Dertig. Permission to build a facility from the Tribal Offices of Hammanskraal was obtained and a land survey was conducted. Rebecca, Theresa and Sydney were also able to meet with two future filter facility employees, Grace and Paulina. Grace and Paulina continue to be enthusiastic about the project and have high hopes for what it will bring to the community.
In the summer of 2015 a UVA Jefferson Public Citizens team comprised of Matthew Smith, Alice Burgess, Max Barab and Anna Wallace spent a month in Hammanskraal. They helped to initiate and oversee the start of construction the filter facility as well as further develop community ties. Grace and Paulina were at the facility every day and got family and friends of theirs excited about the project as well. Construction is being done by a local company as well volunteers in the community who are very much committed to the project. One of our future employee’s husbands has big plans for the entrance of the facility – he has begun planting lemon and orange trees, even a vegetable garden.
On one side of the facility there is an elementary school and on the other a church is being built so we anticipate a lot of great educational opportunities with these two neighbors.
Meet Nkosinobubelo Ndebele (Nkosi for short)!
She is a native of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. She graduated as valedictorian from the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe in 2014 with a degree in Environmental Science and Health, motivated by the lack of both clean water and support for environmental issues back in Bulawayo. Nkosi came to PureMadi after completing a one-year internship for a Bulawayo-based NGO called Dabane Trust where she learned about water purification technology with a focus on sand abstraction systems. She believes that PureMadi’s silver nanoparticle filtration method is a particularly effective and sustainable solution to making clean water more accessible to developing communities and is excited about its potential to mitigate the spread of waterborne illness across South Africa. In the next few years, she hopes to be inspired by PureMadi’s methodologies and eventually go back to school for a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering to create her own new technology which will help the global effort to improve access to clean water.
Meet Our Dertig Family!