Tuesday 18th October Jim Rae on African Boreholes

Formerly a senior manager at North Lanarkshire Council, with responsibility for the maintenance of swimming pools, after retirement Jim Rae turned his attention to another form of water. In 2000 he made his first trip to Africa and for nearly six years helped in the digging of boreholes for wells and setting up small farms in Senegal, Gabon and Guinea-Bissau with Glasgow entrepreneur Willie Haughey. Three years ago he was asked to go to Malawi with the Hunter/Clinton Foundation, however with three or four children dying every week due to polluted water, he realised he had to make a more personal contribution. Cutting ties with the Hunter/Clinton Foundation he joined Waterforall Africa as a technical advisor and from the comfort of his garden shed set about the invention of the STAG Filter Unit.

Jim with President Harry & Ieuan

Jim with President Harry & Ieuan

The unit is currently patent pending and testing at a Glasgow laboratory has found that it filters more than 99.9 per cent of harmful bacteria from raw sewage. Jim, from Motherwell, said: “Clean water is what every villager I have ever met needs, however, as a result of contamination, three or four children die every week just from dehydration as the polluted water makes them ill. “I knew I had to do something and set about trying to invent a filter that didn’t use electricity or chemicals. Trials at the Glasgow Scientific Laboratory show it can remove more than 99.9 per cent of harmful bacteria such as e-coli and cryptosporidium and this will save millions of lives.”

Rob Keating gave the vote of thanks