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Evaluating household water filters in emergencies

Our project evaluates 420 filters of five manufacturers in three different humanitarian contexts in Palestine, Somalia and Kenya.

Household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) devices are an essential element within humanitarian emergencies to improve quality of drinking water and achieve health impact. However, despite demonstrating technical efficacy under laboratory settings, evidence that HWTS products are used correctly and consistently in emergency settings and therewith perform satisfactorily, is limited. To increase the ability of Humanitarian Agencies to make informed choices about the procurement and distribution of household water filters in emergencies, and motivate produces to improve design, Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) initiated this project.

Our goal is

  • to develop, test and implement a research methodology to evaluate household water filters for use in emergency contexts
  • to understand users` and implementers` experiences and preferences regarding use, operation and maintenance of products and their features
  • to provide feedback to the manufacturers to enable optimization and further development of their products

420 filters of five types were evaluated in three locations: Occupied Palestinian Territories (Masafer Yatta villages, Hebron Governorate), Northern Kenya (Marsabit County), and Somalia (IDP settlement Tabelha, Danyle District) for a period of 9 month using extensive methodology, combining quantitative technical assessment of performance and user centered evaluation of the acceptance of the filters. This is a collaborative prohect of IEC FHNW, Cesvi, Caritas and Eawag Sandec.


Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Innovation Catalogue


WASH Innovation Demonstrations - Evaluating household water filters from Elrha on Vimeo.

Key Figures

Project duration:
2017 - 2019
Funding agency:
Humanitarian Innovation Fund, ELRHA
Project website:

Institute for Ecopreneurship

FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland School of Life Sciences, Institute for Ecopreneurship Hofackerstrasse 30 CH - 4132 Muttenz
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