GCG in conversation with Patrick Cox, Executive Director,Geo-Life, Inc.
Geo-Life is a non-profit charity made up of civil engineers and planners. They design open waterway restoration systems that remove pollution from rivers, lakes and streams and we design drinking water filtering systems that prevent waterborne diseases in developing countries around the world.
When was GEO-Life established and how was the idea conceived?
I began to look at starting an environmental non-profit in the summer of 2010. I wanted to put to use the 30 years of experience I have in designing and building clean water systems.They include water filtration systems that are designed to remove pollution from water. These systems are effective for both industrial point source pollution and contaminated storm water runoff. I also have designed waterway restoration plans for rivers and streams in larger watersheds. I wanted to put these skills to use in developing countries where clean water does not exist, especially in lower income areas. I have recruited engineers and environmentalist to assist us with our work.
What are some of the chief activities and objectives of your organisation? How many countries are you actively working in?
Our chief activities are divided in three areas. Design support for other non-profits and NGOs, construction of drinking water systems, and spreading awareness of the clean water crises. We are presently working in India, Cambodia and Burkina Faso, Africa.
What are some major programmes being run by GEO-LIFE?
The Clean Water Project for Cambodia will provide 1,800 bio-sand filters in the vicinity of Battambang, Cambodia for use by people in 2,800 households, schools, and community centers. This project is part of a compound Water and Sanitation Solution for the benefit of the most vulnerable people in remote rural areas of Cambodia where 76% of all deaths are caused by waterborne diseases.
How can individuals join in your efforts?
Everyone can help by spreading awareness of the clean water crisis. Our main goal at Geo-Life is to bring clean, safe drinking water to communities in developing countries that are lacking. The job is big and we need your help! People in developing countries need strong advocates who are willing to work hard to help spread awareness of this water crisis. Too many people are becoming sick and dying from waterborne diseases. Knowledge is the key. The more people know about the water crisis, the more we can accomplish.
For clean water non-profits to help one million people we need to complete two thousand projects. And with 800 million people who do not have access to clean, safe drinking water, we have a lot of work to do. Together we can do our part to make this world a better place!
What are your future plans and activities?
We are continuing our work in spreading awareness, designing filtering systems and assisting local non-profits and NGOs with their work. A large proposal is in the works for Geo-Life to provide a waterway restoration design plan fora large watershed in Malaysia and its neighboring state, Selangor. The waterways involved will be the Gombak River which flows through Kuala Lumpur and Selangor merges with the Klang River to form the Klang-Gombak River.
Please tell us more about your work in India?
We are also working with the Rotary Club of Ambler, here in the United Sates to design a water filtration system for a large school in Andhra Pradesh, India. We are also supporting local non-profits with filtration system designs and family sized bio-sand water filters.
Can the Restoration of waterways project be replicated in other countries? How did you go about it and how successful was it?
Some aspects of the waterway restoration designs can be used in any part of the world, but there is a need to convert the design to the local available property size and contours / elevations of the land. The design principals can be used anywhere for filtering pollution from point source pollution.
How successful has the Bio-filter been? Is it being used in on site locations in India?
The bio-sand water filter is very successful and is being used in thousands of locations in India. The people operating the system must have a basic understanding of how the biological film, located on top of the sand, is needed to remove pollution from the local water supply.
Know more about Geo-Life from here.
Image credit: Geo-Life official website
Are you someone or do you know someone who is active in the field of environment for the larger benefit of communities? Drop us a mail at email@example.com with a short introduction and contact details. We will get in touch with you for an interview.