AQUACHAR MAKING A BETTER WORLD
Six months after launch, AquaChar secured international packaging and distribution from Holland and is available in 30+ countries. Early success allowed several gallons of AquaChar to be sent to Nigeria to test potential urban markets where AquaChar can make a difference. Our Nigerian partner determined the best target market was catfish farming, which is considered the best way to sustain the protein needs of a growing population of 230 million. Our partner found a WhatsApp group of farmers and introduced AquaChar.
COMPLICATIONS OF CATFISH FARMING IN NIGERIA
We quickly learned the most difficult part of catfish farming is the first 6 weeks. In the wild, catfish release tens of thousands of eggs for hundreds to survive to 1 kg. In farming, the objective is to raise thousands of 1 kg fish catfish per clutch of eggs. Hatchlings need massive feedings several times daily and pristine water. The number of issues this can cause means it’s not uncommon for farmers to loss an entire brood in just days. Water must be changed daily. They say, “it takes a lot of knowledge or a lot of money to be a successful catfish farmer in Nigeria”.
Through this group, AquaChar was introduced to an Israeli water expert who has made a consulting career out of providing solutions to the most remote areas of the world. This experience has given him a MacGyver/Indiana Jones skill set when it comes to agriculture and aquaculture.
The borehole he drilled 6 months prior had iron levels three times the acceptable level for hatchlings. This meant daily delivery of 500 gallons of clean water from the nearest city per hatch to ensure a consistent production quota.
Curious about the potential of AquaChar, he promised before and after testing of borehole and river water with only 2 cups of AquaChar in each filter. To his enjoyment, both tests reflected consistent iron reduction and he was ready to test AquaChar to its full potential. He requested to get in touch with the inventor and together designed a recirculatory filtration system around AquaChar with the goal of eliminating his daily water delivery fees.
With this AquaChar based filtration system, iron in his borehole water went from 2.403 to 0.59 ppm (0.6 MAX). Due to the high shipping cost to Africa (along with delivery delays), we developed a cleaning and regeneration process which has allowed him to use the same AquaChar for a year and a half.
After these results our original partner in Abuja decided to go from banker to farmer and leased a catfish farm. For the past 1.5 years he has successfully raised catfish to sell as fingerlings (high demand due to pollution) while growing brood stock (18-24 months old) of AquaChar raised catfish for the anticipated shortage of mature breeders related to COVID.
Shortly after leasing his farm his borehole collapsed and required replacement. He decided to test inserting an AquaChar Filter directly into the new borehole. By allowing water to interact with AquaChar, water was noticeably clearer, pH increased, and test showed lower dissolved solids, coliform, iron, ammonia, and nitrates.
WATER TURNS ORPHANGE TO A COMMUNITY CENTER IN UGANDA
In sharing our successes with this system, AquaChar was approached to design and implement a filtration system for an orphanage with 40 children in Uganda. They had to walk 2km every day to the nearest river to supply water for 40 children. That water then needed to be boiled before consumption.
In partnering with the fundraisers, AquaChar assisted in scouting a proper drilling company for an onsite borehole. By developing a process of routine maintenance using locally sourced materials, an AquaChar filtration system is currently providing clean and safe water for drinking. This has assisted them with growing crops, learning new skills, and providing sustainable money.
As of the August 1st, 2020, this system had been running for 4 months. The ability to provide safe water without boiling has made the orphanage a community center providing basic needs to the needy people struggling to survive. Elderly neighbors have wept with joy at the generosity of being welcomed to take drinking water that does not require the purification process they have known their entire life. The AquaChar system used by this orphanage is being developed as model for teaching life-skills by using clean water to become self-supporting, helping to bring communities to their full potential.