Clean Water Project

Making clean water possible for thousands of people.

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Purdys CEO Karen Flavelle travelled to Ivory Coast to participate in the official handover of the water filters raised through our 2017 Clean Water Project.

Through our Clean Water Project, we’ve raised enough funds for 131 LifeStraw Community water filters.

Water filters are installed in schools and medical centres in vulnerable communities in Ivory Coast.

Each LifeStraw Community water filter provides clean water for 60 people for about three years.

Nearly 8,000 people, including children, now have access to safe drinking water.

Training on water sanitation, hygiene and hand washing is provided to the community.

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Community Heroes

These local heroes (and future heroes, like grade 3 student Jessica) help change lives.
And you’ve helped them by giving them access to safe, clean drinking water for years to come.

Madame Toureé

Madame Toureé is the head doctor at the maternity clinic in the village of Bongnozra. The centre provides care for 10 rural villages, including farmers who belong to Co-op Kopabo and grow cocoa for Purdys' Sustainable Cocoa Program. Madame Toureé delivers around 30 babies a month at her clinic, and provides support, education and care for families who would otherwise not have access to maternity services. The Clean Water Project's Lifestraw Community filters means that mothers and babies have access to clean, safe drinking water during their most vulnerable times. Seen here with Purdys CEO Karen Flavelle during her trip to Ivory Coast in October 2017.

Jean Aaron

Jean Aaron is the Sustainability Events Manager at Barry Callebaut and is one of Purdys' on-the-ground partners who acts as a liaison between the Cocoa Horizons Foundation and our sustainability team in Vancouver. An integral part of the Clean Water Project, Jean Aaron is an invaluable source of local knowledge, connecting us with village and co-op leaders, school administration, farmers and their communities. Pictured here with Michelle Harper, National Marketing Manager at Purdys, during the delivery of the 2017 filters to Ivory Coast.

Francis & Siaka

Francis and Siaka are part of the incredible team who run the Cocoa Horizons mobile medical truck. During the day, the truck serves as a mobile medical centre for rural cocoa-growing communities. The trucks provides transport and distribution for medications and care to rural communities, providing a mobile clinic space that's supported by local doctors and nurses. At night time, the truck transforms into a theatre and education centre that hosts educational modules on farming best practices that the entire community is welcome to attend.


Jessica is a grade 3 student at the Bayé Sébon village primary school in the Duékoué region of Ivory Coast. As part of the inaugural 2017 Clean Water Project, her school received 9 Lifestraw Community filters to provide safe, clean drinking water for 650 fellow students. During our trip to meet Jessica, she told us her dream is to become a government minister so she can help her parents and one day send them on vacation to France.


Adu is a teacher at the Bayé Sébon village primary school near Duékoué, Ivory Coast. He's been a teacher for 7 years and is passionate about the importance of girls attending school. "The Minister of Primary Education is a woman, the Minister of Health is a woman. We have to encourage more parents to send their daughters to school," he told us. As part of the 2017 Clean Water Project, Adu took part in training sessions on filter use and maintenance in order to educate his students on the importance of drinking clean water.

Dr. Blerou Sompoué Gabriel

Dr. Blerou Sompoué Gabriel is head doctor of the Gonaté hospital centre. He provides medical care at various rural clinics for cocoa farmers and their families in areas outside Gonaté such as Co-op Caeda. Filters from the Clean Water Project have enabled his clinics to treat children by providing clean, safe water to mix with medications that often come in powdered form. With previously untreated water, reoccurring illnesses were common amongst patients taking medication with dirty water. The Clean Water project has provided filters that help Dr. Gabriel and his medical staff treat families who would otherwise not have access to safe water.

  Taking part in a farmer field school at Co-op Binkadi.  

  Female community leaders from Laminedougou village.

  Female leaders from Laminedougou village.

  Girls from Bayé Sébon village primary school – recipients of LifeStraw Community water filters.

  Official handover of water filters at Bayé Sébon village primary school.

  Karen, Purdys CEO and students from Bayé Sébon village primary school.

Water filter demonstrations at Bayé Sébon.

One filter for every classroom of the Bayé Sébon primary school.

Celebrating at the Co-op Caba official handover.

Handing over filters at Koentinga village primary school.

Presenting filters to the village chiefs of Koentinga.

Celebrations at Koentinga village primary school.

Dance performances by students of the Koentinga village primary school.

Elders of the Bonon village bless the start of the community celebrations.

Elders, community leaders, medical centre staff and students at Co-op Caeda.

Exploring cocoa fields in and around Koentinga.

Cocoa trees near Koentinga.

The village chief of Gobazra and Bongnozra attends the community celebrations.

Presenting the water filters to the Co-op Kopabo chief.

Dance performances at the Kopabo medical centre celebration.

Female elders lead music celebrations at Laminedougou village.

Girls from Laminedougou village primary school – recipients of Lifestraw Community water filters.

Girls from Laminedougou village primary school perform at the gift-giving ceremony.

Djè Koussai Marcellin, a farmer part of Co-op Binkadi, talks to Karen Flavelle, Purdys CEO, about the impact of our Sustainable Cocoa Program..

Karen Flavelle, Purdys CEO, learns best practices for cocoa bean fermentation at a farmer field school.

Welcoming celebrations at Laminedougou village.

Students at Laminedougou village primary school put on a play about the importance of drinking clean water.

LifeStraw Community water filters given to the Laminedougou village primary school.

LifeStraw Community water filters at Laminedougou village.

Before and after: the difference a LifeStraw Community water filter makes.

Purdys CEO Karen with water before and after the filtering process.


LifeStraw filters are produced by Vestergaard Frandsen, an international company with headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. LifeStraw filters are proven, easy-to-use, award-winning devices that provide clean, safe water without requiring the use of any chemicals, electricity or other special treatments. The LifeStraw Community model is a large-capacity model designed for use in classrooms, health centres, field offices, warehouses and other rural locations.

LifeStraw filters remove 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and protozoan (disease-causing) parasites, making safe, clean drinking water a reality for thousands of children and families who do not have access to clean water.

Enabling access to clean, safe drinking water is a complex challenge that requires a two-pronged approach. The building of water wells and drilling of bore holes in our cocoa-growing communities is extremely important. However, many communities’ source of water is unfiltered groundwater from rivers, streams and lakes. Unfiltered water can contain bacteria and other contaminants that can cause illness and disease. LifeStraw Community filtration devices remove 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and protozoan (disease-carrying) parasites.

Selecting beneficiary schools is an important part of the Clean Water Project. Our partners at Cocoa Horizons work directly with teams in Ivory Coast to determine the most suitable communities for the project. They consider things like:

  • The condition and proximity of available water sources
  • The interest level of a community in having the filters
  • Willingness of communities to participate in educational sessions and training programs
  • Other criteria or challenges specific to individual communities