Defluoridation using the Nalgonda technique in Tanzania

Various defluoridation methods have been known to remove the excess of fluoride in drinking water in order to avoid endemic fluorosis, i.e. mottling of teeth, stiffness of joints and crippling. A comprehensive research programme has been carried out in the 60’s and 70’s at the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) in Nagpur, India, to develop appropriate methods for defluoridation of drinking water. As an important outcome of this programme it was concluded that the Nalgonda Technique is preferable at all levels because of the low price and ease of handling (Bulusu et al 1979). The Nalgonda Technique has been introduced in Indian villages and studied at pilot scale in e.g. Kenya, Senegal and Tanzania (Gitonga 1984, Lagaude et al. 1988, Gumbo 1987). This paper describes a modified design and an organisational setup of the Nalgonda Technique in household scale, as it has been introduced in Ngurdoto village in Tanzania by the Defluoridation Technology Project (a research collaboration between the University of Dar es Salaam, the Tanzanian Water Authorities and the Technical University of Denmark).