Project information

Clean water for Oldonyosambu

Our project aims to bring safe, fluoride-free water to the people of Oldonyosambu in Tanzania where skeletal fluorosis is destroying lives.

August 2017 - September 2017

Charity information: The Nasio Trust

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  • Need


    For decades, those living in Arusha region in Tanzania have suffered from skeletal fluorosis, abnormal bone growth and joint solidification as a result of high fluoride level in drinking water. Often this leads to chronic pain and other detrimental effects as the fluoride level sometimes reaches over sixty times the US recommended limit. Little has been done to combat the problem or even educate people of the consequences even though it has been scientifically documented since 1967.


    We intend to remove or reduce the cause of the problem, by giving them the means to purify their own water and collect fluoride free rainfall. We are hoping to develop sustainable solar distillation equipment to allow the community to purify their own water and install large rainwater tanks. Both these methods will also provide safer drinking water in terms of water-borne disease and will further improve the quality of life and long-term health of the community.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Implement methods for the provision of fluoride-free drinking water.


    » Research new, innovative means of combating the fluoride problem. Will involve designing and implementing solar distillation equipment.
    » Provide ten 10000 litre rain water tanks for community usage.
    » Train local volunteers in maintenance and repair of the equipment we install to ensure sustainability.

    What success will look like

    Installation of ten large rainwater tanks and a sustainable water purification method. We hope to share this method with other organisations provided its effectiveness.

    Aim 2

    Initiate education for the community on this problem and collect evidence.


    » Work with the local university to corroborate previous analyses of water samples and investigate the fluoride levels of sources within the area.
    » Monitor the number of children born with skeletal deformities and research the health and social effects fluoride levels have on the community.
    » Produce educative pamphlets and spread the word about the effects of drinking fluoride containing water within the community.

    What success will look like

    Have our volunteers make visits to collect information and feedback on the condition and usage of equipment, as well as the health and well-being of locals.

  • Impact


    Provision of clean, fluoride-free drinking water to reduce the number of new-born children with skeletal deformities, due to reduced prenatal fluoride exposure, and reduce the rate of skeletal fluorosis in adults and children in the community.

    Educate the community against the dangers of excess fluoride and provide training for them to construct their own solar distillation equipment using readily available local materials.

    Improve the long-term health outcomes of the community.


    A prolonged dry season and failure to develop a solar still to provide enough water for a household would both obstruct our first aim. This is why we are installing both water tanks and solar stills: if case one of these scenarios is to occur then a means of obtaining clean water is still available.
    Not enough community education and training in maintenance could be a barrier to long-term sustainability. We will provide educative pamphlets and regularly communicate our progress with the locals.


    We will investigate the following: water level in the rainwater tanks before and after rainfall, number of stills in use, general practice in still-use, and number of new-borns with skeletal deformities. These statistics will be reported in bi-weekly reports.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £12,372

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,800 Guttering and water tanks Rain water on building
      £1,200 Transport and material costs Purchase on Material
      £4,148 Locally manufactured solar sti local experts
      £720 Fluoride desalination (use of sourced locally
      £160 Pamphlets and fliers explainin printed in local language
      £144 Chemical fluoride detection eq sourced locally
      £1,200 Overheads, monitoring visits, monitioring and reporting

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Supporters £3,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Tanzania, Oldonyosambu ward, a group of Maasai communities approximately forty kilometres from the Kenyan border, just north of Mt. Meru and West of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Water fluoride concentrations are high due to the alkaline volcanic nature of the region. The ward is home to approximately 5,233 people, the vast majority of whom are dependent on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods and live on less than $1 a day.


    This project will directly benefit over 300 people comprising roughly 100 adults (approximately an even split of men and women) and 200 children. Indirect beneficiaries will be the surrounding populace of Oldonyosambu ward who will benefit from the reduction in spread of water-borne disease. We are hopeful that our development of a simple household solar distillation device could be utilised in the future to benefit people in other communities, both in Tanzania and elsewhere.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Nasio Trust’s mission is to protect vulnerable children so that they can develop to reach their full potential and build a positive future for themselves. A dedicated team of three Oxford University interns and one alumnus will travel to Tanzania and spend two months overseeing the project. They will use their combined backgrounds in science and engineering to come up with new and innovative ways to combat the fluoride problem and help fulfil our mission.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jack Glancy - Project Manager

    Manage and monitor the project, making sure deadlines are met and the necessary permissions and materials are obtained. Provide bi-weekly reports.

    Max Greenwood - Project Intern

    Monitor fluoride levels in water supplies. Research and implement solar distillation equipment and rainwater tanks.

    Simona Everts - Project Intern

    Investigate the social and health impacts of high fluoride levels. Research and implement solar distillation equipment and rainwater tanks.