Critical sustainability parameters in defluoridation of drinking water


: Experiences from household and community defluoridation projects have been collected. They are presented in the form of critical parameters that need to be considered for the success of household defluoridation projects. Parameters are classified in three groups. Motivation of households seems to be critical since fluorosis is not always considered as the main problem of concern and improvements are not always visible for a number of years. Appropriate and cheap technique is always a must in poor villages. Finally the organisation of supporting functions that may include quality control, technical and motivating support, as well as general educational initiatives. INTRODUCTION Defluoridation of drinking water in third world countries has generally been unsuccessful in spite of many attempts to implement projects aiming at provision of safe drinking water in fluorotic areas. Furthermore, no defluoridation initiatives have been taken in many areas where fluorosis is prevalent, probably due to lack of knowledge of appropriate technologies or lack of means to provide all the project components associated with defluoridation. The difficulties to achieve sustainable results are illustrated by the fact that very few projects are actually practising defluoridation at present. A review has been initiated by the Danish International Development Agency, Danida, in order to assess practical defluoridation experiences in selected areas and to identify critical parameters in defluoridation projects. This paper presents the preliminary findings by the reviewer, based on study visits to defluoridation projects in India, Sri Lanka and Tanzania, interviews with a number of researchers and practitioners in the field of defluoridation and experiences expressed in project reports and scientific papers. It seems practical to classify the critical parameters into three groups, each of which is absolutely essential to consider in any defluoridation project: • Motivation of users. • Appropriate and economic technique. • Proper organisational setup. Basically, defluoridation can be introduced at two organisational levels; as household defluoridation, carried out by the single households for their own consumption, and as community defluoridation, carried out for the public in a village, town, sub-village etc. Experiences with other forms like institutional defluoridation (schools, health centres etc.) or private defluoridators shared by several households are presently limited. The specific parameters are in the following grouped in household defluoridation and community defluoridation.

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