An Israeli invention will soon help provide clean water to Cameroon in response to a sweeping cholera epidemic.
Caesarea-based NUFiltration (NUF) will provide its unique water filtration systems to thousands of people in the Central African country who currently have no access to clean water.
A few months ago, Ambassador to Cameroon Ran Gidor made a recommendation to Yuval Fuchs, deputy director of Mashav, Israel’s Agency for International Development, to provide NUF’s services to his country’s government.
“This was an immediate response to the cholera epidemic and... we were happy to assist,” Fuchs said.
With support of the Foreign Ministry, NUF will provide $15,000 worth of water treatment systems. Each system can convert eight liters of water per minute, providing the average daily water consumption for about 500 people.
The device uses disinfected, recycled dialysis filters to purify water. It was patented by Tel Aviv University Medical School Prof. Yoram Lass, a former Health Ministry director and Labor Party MK.
The system has an advantage over other systems because it uses filters originally made for medical use, manufactured and tested according to the strictest standards.
The filters decontaminate water from even the most polluted sources, guaranteeing the removal of bacteria and particles larger than 30 nanometers, or 30 billionths of a meter.
“It is actually a revolutionary patent, because with the use of a medical device that otherwise would have been discarded into the waste... we purify water at the best rate possible,” said NUF CEO Mino Negrin.
The system is inexpensive and portable, making it ideal for emergency and remote situations, Negrin said. The 15-kg. filters do not require electricity and have a minimum lifespan of three years.
NUF technical manager Omri Cohen said NUF’s filters offer a great advantage to people in underdeveloped countries with limited resources.
“As soon as you start to pump the water from the river you get immediately... clean water to drink. And that was like a miracle for the people,” Cohen said. “The reaction was truly amazing. The people said... that this tastes like mineral water from the bottle.”
Negrin, who has been working in the water filtration industry for 25 years, said he bought the NUF patent six years ago because he saw its potential to bring real change on a global scale.
“I saw from the very beginning that there is a very, very robust and innovative means to solve a very huge problem,” he said.
NUF currently provides services to more than 40 countries, including hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth to countries in Africa. Negrin said he hopes to continue to expand the company and aid countries in need.
The UN has tested the product and already authorized its usage in refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mali.
Fuchs said he sees the initiative in Cameroon as a win-win, supporting Israeli technologies and promoting humanitarian efforts abroad.
“We believe that this is a strong effort to help the innovative forces that we have here in Israel,” Fuchs said.