Frequently Asked Questions
Q. WHO IS OHORIZONS?
A. OHorizons is an international non-profit founded with the belief that some of the world’s most difficult challenges, need simple solutions, so that communities in need have the autonomy to help themselves, and become owners of the solutions. We believe that the capacity and resources exist today to end hunger and our efforts are committed to making this a reality.
Since 2010 we have developed and implemented practical, long-term solutions to provide drinking water and renewable energy to families in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Our solutions can be implemented locally, are scalable, and we partner with on-the-ground organizations to deploy them. This ensures the long-term sustainability and success of underserved communities, particularly women and children, around the world. We call these solutions Low-Tech, High-Thinking.
Q. WHAT DOES OHORIZONS DO?
A. Our first mission is "to empower communities with clean water for life." Water is a basic need that has the greatest impact on daily life. In many parts of the world women and children spend hours a day getting and carrying drinking water, which does not allow them to study and attend to other tasks.
We focus on providing innovative solutions for what we call the four horizons of life: Water, Energy, Agriculture and Economic Development.
We are experts in the areas of purchasing and logistics. We negotiate with manufacturers worldwide to ensure quality, and to buy at prices close to production cost, which allows us to stretch the funds.
We focus on solutions that are simple, scalable, sustainable, and can be implemented locally.
We work closely with members of the community and representatives of rural municipalities, listening to their requests about what the neighborhoods need the most. We focus on neighborhoods that are difficult to access, less likely to receive help.
Q. ABOUT THE WOOD MOLD
A. Much of the developing world grapples with lack of access to water that is safe for human consumption, an essential first step in leading a healthy and productive life.
BioSand Filters (BSFs) are a household water solution that use sand, gravel, and natural biological processes to filter out contaminants in water, making it safe for drinking. BSFs effectively eliminate cholera, typhoid, E coli, amoebic dysentery, and many additional pathogens that are harmful to humans. They’re a great low-tech clean drinking water solution.
BSFs have been in use since the 1990s by various nonprofits, local governments, and other organizations throughout the developing world. While the BSF is a simple, easy to use solution, the way they have been made is not.
Traditionally they have been constructed using a steel mold, which is still today the global standard. But the steel molds are heavy, expensive, and require a skilled welder, something that is difficult to find in remote areas of the world.
At OHorizons, we decided to think about this solution a little differently. We wanted to preserve the sophistication and impact of the steel mold, but reduce all other factors that made it challenging to implement around the world.
Our award-winning Wood Mold is a low-tech, open-source tool that utilizes an 8x4 foot sheet of plywood to let anyone, anywhere bring clean water to their community.
The Wood Mold BioSand Filter utilizes 100% locally available materials, operates with no electricity or running parts, and is built following freely available instructions in numerous translations that requires little to no behavior change.
Unlike other clean water solutions that end up providing a centralized access point to clean water, the OHorizons approach enables families to have clean drinking water inside their own home.
We have designed a solution that has been tested, validated and proven that allows people anywhere to get local access to clean water. Which means more people can get drinking water faster and allows self-deployment in rural communities.