PureMadi was thrilled to host Nkosi Ndebele, the manager of the Dertig Filter Facility, as our honored guest in Charlottesville, VA this last week. Nkosi was the keynote speaker at PureMadi's 6th annual fundraiser and below are her words that earned a rousing round of applause.
It is such an honour and a privilege to be part of the PureMadi 6. This is the first time I am visiting the United States of America and I feel so welcome, the people here are so amazing.
I developed an interest on the interaction of life and the environment at high school where I studied biology and geography at advanced level. Thereafter I went on to study Bsc Honours in ESH at NUST where I advanced my in depth understanding of how human activities impact on the environment. Human activities have increased the proportions of green house gases in the atmosphere globally, which have largely contributed to phenomena such as climate change. Over the years, Southern Africa has been experiencing erratic rainfall and an increase in average temperatures. This has resulted in a drastic decrease in the volume of water bodies and high evaporation rates thus leading to water scarcity. The shortage of water has forced some communities to use unsafe water sources for consumption and household use therefore putting them at risk of acquiring water borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and dysentery.
Due to my interests in the alleviation of the effects of water scarcity, during my third year at varsity (2013), I was employed as an intern at Dabane Trust. DT is an NGO that thrives to build self reliance in clean water supplies, sanitation and hygiene for marginalised rural communities in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa. I was involved in the construction and distribution of SAS, SSFT for water purification, raising awareness of health and hygiene to communities amongst other deliverables.
I then went on to do my 4th and final year and after graduating, I was keen to follow a career path that addresses water and public health issues. I relocated to S.A where I searched for organisations that had the same interests as mine and PureMadi caught my eye. I was thrilled by the ceramic filter technology as it was new to me. I then became part of the PureMadi team in July 2016 and it has been like a dream come true. I have always dreamt of contributing towards improving water purification technologies for marginalized communities. Working with the Dertig and Hammanskraal communities has been such a wonderful experience and I have learnt a lot from these communities. I love my job. I enjoy that it gives me practical hands on experience where I also get to be involved in the making of ceramic water filters. I also greatly appreciate the support and motivation I get from our PureMadi colleagues in Mukondeni, Zain from Khulisa Social Solutions as well as the rest of the team here in America.
Moving forward, I hope to research further into water treatment technologies that can be applied in arid and semi arid areas, with special interests on the development and improvement of PureMadi’s ceramic water filters. It is my dream and vision to see PureMadi grow and have a filter facility in every province of South Africa and to see its ceramic water filters being adopted not only regionally but world wide!!!