OCM Manufacturing Contribution Provides Clean Drinking Water for Afar People of Ethiopia

Ottawa’s OCM Manufacturing has made a $10,000 contribution for the construction and maintenance of Household BioSand water filters in the Afar Region/Ethiopia, a project of the Can-Go Afar Foundation, a humanitarian organization dedicated to helping Afar people in the Horn of Africa.

The Afar are an ancient, nomadic people who live in one of the most remote and arid corners of the globe, the Afar Triangle that borders Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. The 1.4 million inhabitants of the Afar Region continue to have the lowest education and health parameters in Ethiopia. Being in such a dry environment, water is the crucial need. The under-ground water table is very deep and many of the communities depend on what little surface water they can collect. This water is highly unsanitary and therefore diarrhoea is among the top three morbidities.

The OCM funds will help pay for 50 Household BioSand water filters for the village of Ko’odiya, a community of 2,500 people located at the southern part of the Region. Construction of the water filters is now underway.

The 50 filters will provide clean water to 200 households or approximately 1,200 people. OCM has committed to cover 50% of the cost; the other half will be matched by Can-Go Afar funds.

Warren Creates, the President of the Can-Go Afar organization has commented on OCM’s contribution: “Michel Jullian and OCM recognized early on that they could make a meaningful contribution to the Afar people. Clean water is one of the fundamentals of healthy living. We welcome OCM’s involvement in helping to preserve and enhance the well being of these unique and desperate people.”

Dr. Michel Jullian, President and CEO of OCM Manufacturing, said: “Sanitation is a global concern. Spending a small amount of money to improve the quality of drinking water in Africa can benefit the whole world because healthy populations increase self-sufficiency and enable stronger economies. Pandemics have taught us that we all have a stake in ensuring our neighbour’s health.”

Can-Go Afar Annual Fundraiser
Can-Go Afar is holding its 3rd Annual Fundraising Event, which features a silent auction, traditional African food, music, dance and clothing, on November 14th, 2009 at the Monterey Inn Resort & Conference Centre in Ottawa. Tickets can be purchased for $100 and charitable tax receipts will be issued for $75. For ticket information, contact Andrew Milne at (613) 236-9191.

About the BioSand Water Filter
The Household BioSand Water filters – a Canadian-patented innovation ( – are constructed of concrete. Gravel and sand are layered inside the filter with a PVC collection pipe situated at the base of the filter. Contaminated water from rain, surface, or ground sources is poured into the top of the filter and passes through a plate that diffuses the stream and blocks large contaminants (e.g. stones, large twigs, leaves).

The top few centimeters trap 90% of micro-organisms, which accumulate and develop into a biological layer that remains partially. This layer traps and feeds on the micro-organisms and contaminants in the water. Further filtration occurs in the lower layers, removing contaminants that cause odour, cloudiness, and taste.

About OCM Manufacturing (
Founded in 1988, OCM Manufacturing is an Ottawa-based company that specializes in contract electronics manufacturing for low- to mid-volume product lines. The company provides turnkey electronics manufacturing and supply chain services, from printed circuit board (PCB) assembly and test services to full system assembly and test, a complete suite of warranty administration, field return servicing and other after market services, as well as original design manufacturing and Asia-based services.

About Can-Go Afar Foundation (
Can-Go Afar Foundation is a Canadian humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering the Afar people in the Horn of Africa to build a better future. Can-Go Afar works closely with the Afar community in Canada, as well as local NGOs in Ethiopia, raising funds and advocating for the Afar people. In addition to the Household BioSand water filter project, Can-Go Afar also funds primary education for orphaned children in a boarding school. It also provides post-secondary education bursaries for Afar students and delivers emergency aid to refugees and internally displaced Afar. Can-Go Afar is registered with Canada Revenue Agency and holds a charitable status. – See more at:

Contact Information:

Shaun Markey