Hello there dear reader! That’s right, you’re being addressed in English all of the sudden! Wonder why that is? Let’s just start from the beginning. We are Hellen De Winter and Gloria de Pietri and together we form a cosy little team that is going to Zambia (Lusaka) this summer. Hopefully our team will have the joy of welcoming a new member next semester under the motto ‘the more, the merrier’. Back to us now, we both study at the KULeuven. One of us is an engineering student from Antwerp and the other one a master student in Environmental sciences, who was so intrigued by this project that she came all the way from Italy to join in! Guess who’s who!? (It’s not a trick question) Now, because this lovely Italian student talks about acqua while the Dutch one is elaborating on water, we decided to solve our Babylonian speech confusion by switching over to English.
‘But what exactly is this internationally coloured team going to do this summer in Zambia?’: you’re probably wondering. We are planning on putting all our effort into purifying the groundwater in the capital of Zambia, Lusaka, from nitrate. Don’t panic just yet , we know that there are also nitrate in our drinking water, as well as in the vegetables and meat that we eat. However, these concentrations are very low and definitely not harmful. The groundwater in Lusaka on the other hand is extremely polluted with nitrate because of bad designed sceptic tanks, pit latrines, waste dumping and so on. The problem has become so severe that a lot of poor people in the peri-urban areas, who can’t afford to buy bottled water like us and like the people in the city, suffer from big health problems. Together with our local partner Envaros we wish to provide them with drinkable groundwater so that they can happily join you guys in the ‘Don’t panic’ part of this alinea.
We are currently stressing for our intermediate presentation tomorrow, where we will show everything we found so far to the Humasol board. We actually found two very interesting methods to purify the water, namely: Ion-Exchange and Biological denitrification. We’ll spare you the technical details for now, but don’t be depressed! Once we’ve decided on a final concept together with our partner, we’ll be sure to tell you everything you want to know! We hope you are as much interested in tasty drinking water as we are, because with this captivating blog we will keep you posted on everything that’s in our mind, heart and water!
We will get back to you very soon. We will close this blog with an inspiring note that our positive-minded parent would approve of: ‘It’s going to be wonderful!’.
PS: We came to the conclusion that we don’t have a picture together. Oh no, shame on us! So we will make it up to you in the next blog and hopefully satisfy you already with this nice selfie with our local partner!