Swiss innovation to improve the quality of water for human consumption

Swiss Ambassador and Housing Ministry delegation visit Tacna and Moquegua to see the impact of technology for the removal of heavy metals in drinking water.

They looked closely at the impact of membrane filter technology for the removal of heavy metals in water for human consumption, validating its efficiency and effectiveness in the towns of southern Peru.

Heavy metal pollution is one of Peru’s major environmental problems, especially arsenic and lead which are found in drinking water. This requires a rapid response to prevent a public health disaster, especially for the communities near mining areas, where water pollution has been the centre of social and environmental civil unrest.

Visit of the Swiss ambassador, Markus-Alexander Antonietti, to the TACNA Sanitation Services Provider

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is supporting the validation of a new, economical and scalable technology for extracting heavy metals in drinking water. This new technology uses cellulose membrane filters, activated carbon and lactose protein fibers, does not need electricity and has no side effects. It was developed by BluAct Technologies.

Since October 2018, SDC has been supporting the implementation of an innovative membrane filter technology that removes heavy metals. This will contribute to the improvement of water quality for human consumption, especially in rural areas in the regions of Tacna, Moquegua, Cerro de Pasco and Lambayeque.

Visit to the Jorge Chavez Town Center, Torata – Moquegua

One of the joint visits with the water and sanitation ministry authorities was scheduled for 28 and 29 October, in order to have first-hand knowledge of the impact, results and progress of this experience in the regions of Tacna and Moquegua. The delegation was led by Markus-Alexander Antonietti, Swiss Ambassador to Peru; Martin Jaggi, Director of Swiss Cooperation (SDC); Jaime Uchuya, advisor to the Deputy Minister of Construction and Sanitation; Aldo Ortega, executive director of the National Rural Sanitation Programme; Max Carbajal, director of the Sanitation Department of the MVCS; Herberth Pacheco, director of the SABAVidaproject, and Nancy Málaga, the project’s governance manager. Regional and local authorities and officials accompanied them in each region.

Inclán (Tacna)

The first stop was in the Tacna region. The delegation had a close look at the experience and validated the implementation of home filter technology in the city. In the afternoon, the delegation went to a collective treatment plant in the district of Inclán, in Poquera, which provides water to more than 30 families. They also made a visit to people’s homes to validate domestic filters. The delegation was accompanied by the mayor of the Inclán district, César Gallegos. At the end of the day, the delegation enjoyed a work and social meeting with the regional governor, Juan Tonconi.

Validation of filters in the Centro Poblado Poquera, Inclán

Torata (Moquegua) treatment plant

Visit to the Torata Water Treatment Plant

On the second day, the delegation went to the Moquegua region to see the water treatment plant in the Jorge Chavez B sector, in the district of Torata, where the filter technology is being validated. They were welcomed by Hernán Juárez Coayla, the mayor of Torata, who accompanied them on the visit to the plant. At the end of the day they had a meeting with Zenón Cuevas, regional governor of Moquegua, who thanked them for the support they are providing to the region on a subject as important as the quality of water for human consumption.

The validation of this technology has shown it to be highly efficient in removing heavy metals in water for human consumption. It is easy to use and maintain and is economical, so it is a good alternative for improving water quality in rural villages where the water is not good enough because it contains heavy metals .

For further information:
Fact sheet Heavy Metal Removal Project, Swiss Embassy, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Web Disaster Risk Reduction Programme and Humanitarian Aid, Lima Hub (Peru)

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La Agencia Suiza para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación (COSUDE) es la entidad encargada de la cooperación internacional dentro del Departamento Federal de Asuntos Exteriores (DFAE). Con otras oficinas de la Confederación, la COSUDE es responsable de la coordinación general de la cooperación para el desarrollo y de la cooperación con los Países del Este, así como de los programas de ayuda humanitaria suizos.