A new fluoride filter manufacturing facility, the first of its kind in Ethiopia, was inaugurated Friday in Modjo town, some 70km south-east of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The new USAID-supported facility will help mitigate fluorosis in the Ethiopian Rift Valley through innovative fluoride reduction products and services. While some fluoride in water is good for people, consuming too much fluoride causes a condition called fluorosis which results in affecting the teeth of almost 90 percent of the people living in the Great Rift Valley.
The facility will also produce water filters which utilize locally available bone char and low-cost chemicals. These filter materials will reduce the amount of fluoride in local water sources, thereby reducing the incidence of fluorosis.
Additionally, the products made at the new facility can be recycled more than five times after their initial use and disposed of as an environmentally-friendly phosphate fertilizer.
In his keynote address, USAID Mission Director Dennis Weller said, “This manufacturing plant constructed by the Oromo Self Help Organization, with USAID support, is the first of its kind in the country that enables the production of high quality fluoride filter material. This investment is particularly timely to address the long-standing problem of excess fluoride in the ground water in the Rift Valley area.”
The Oromo Self Help Organization will initially distribute the water filters to 12 community fluoride treatment systems established with the support of USAID in four districts in East Shoa Zone.