Solar Disinfection of water is an amazingly simple way to kill bacteria in water using the sun's ultraviolet radiation. There is machinery to speed up the process and to handle large quantities, but it works at a household level with a clear plastic bottle and 8 hours of sunshine.
Pure water is a huge problem in the developing world. Sources are commonly polluted and people have little choice but to drink what they have. Boiling would make a big difference but that is time-consuming, costly and contributes greatly to deforestation. Consequently, 80% of all disease and sickness in the world is a result of polluted water! At the very least, that keeps kids away from school with diarrhea.
Here in London, Ontario is The Water School, with which GlobalLight Projects is partnering. They have refined the technique of placing water in 1 or 2 litre plastic bottles and letting it sit in the sun for a day - or two if it is cloudy. Ultra-violet radiation kills the DNA of bacteria, preventing them from re-producing. Water which is full of bacteria is then safe to drink! The method is simple, inexpensive and sustainable. The risk from plastic bottles has been over-stated in the media, and is infinitesimally small compared to the risk from polluted water (see The Water School website for a detailed discussion on this).
This is GlobalLight Projects' first investment. Thomas' mother was in Canada for a visit. She, along with the GlobalLight Projects team received The Water School training and then carried back to Zambia the training materials and water testing kits. We have made contact with a Zambian foundation rehabilitating schools and they will be testing the procedure in southern Zambia and we will be working with them to implement the procedure.
You can see more pictures of our SODIS training session here.
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