Thesis: Empowering Uganda


As African nations gain more attention from global financial institutions and multinational corporations, and as water shortages become potential battlegrounds, empowering individuals with low-cost, reliable means of purifying their own drinking water could be the surest way to enable a way of life that is peaceful, healthful, and productive. The BioSand Water Filter (BSF) is a rudimentary and inexpensive form of water filtration invented by Dr. David Manz and students at Calgary University, Canada. The filter uses both sand and beneficial bacteria to remove contaminants from water. Although the filter has been in worldwide use for twenty years, issues of its ergonomics and usability still need to be addressed. In the African community, its diffusion has reached a saturation point that is well below its potential.


The purpose of this study is to reveal the design limitations of the filter unit and to create a redesign that advances a new production and service model. This new model would increase the potential for diffusion of this important invention throughout developing nations. The Thesis Mantra proposes a cascading approach to increase the diffusion rate of providing clean drinking water to the poor. The first stage is a redesigned filter. The second stage is the creation of a village enterprise for a service model. The third and last stage is the NGO transformation that cultivates a sustainable model over a larger region.


Works under Industrial Design