Our History

On a volunteer vacation in Tanzania in 2005, Tracy Hawkins became aware that Tanzanians need safe drinking water if they are to survive.

Shortly after her return to the U.S., Ms. Hawkins learned about the ceramic pot filter as a high-quality, sustainable household water treatment. Ms. Hawkins, a hobbyist potter herself, teamed up with Mr. Mesiaki Kimerei, a master potter in Arusha, Tanzania, and together they have learned to make and mass produce the ideal ceramic pot filter for a Tanzanian household. Called the Maji Salama Filter, it lasts a Tanzanian family five years at a cost of only $40USD.
Ms. Hawkins and her team have worked diligently since 2006 to establish a sustainable enterprise for manufacturing the filter in Tanzania. In the U.S., Tracy (Georgia Tech ’85-Industrial Engineering) and her volunteer team have worked with such organizations as U.S. Centers for Disease Control, The Center for Global Safe Water at Emory University, Engineers without Borders, Georgia Tech Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems and others to ensure that the filter is as safe and effective as possible.
Mr. Mesiaki Kimerei is now the proud owner of a sustainable manufacturing business in Tanzania called Safe Water Ceramics of East Africa, and Ms. Hawkins is executive director of SAFE Water Now and handles communications.