Water security issues affect the lives of millions in developing countries. A personal water filter system that purifies contaminated water as you drink it is helping to affordably alleviate water poverty in many places.
According to UN-Water, 85 percent of the world’s population lives in an area of high water scarcity. Meanwhile, “783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation.”
Stories out of devastating areas tell us how lives are being saved by SMART and sustainable humanitarian solutions that provide clean water and food to those who need it most. One of these solutions is Lifestraw, a personal portable device that houses a number of different filters and allows users to purify water using a 25-cm long device that functions like a straw, eradicating 99.9999 percent of bacteria and contaminants in the water. All you do is stick one end of the straw in water, suck liquid up and the filters inside remove the majority of harmful substances so that the water you consume is safe. Each device is built to clean about 18,000 litres of water over its lifetime, which equates to about three years worth of drinking water for a family of five people.
The Lifestraw is developed and manufactured by Vestaagard which sells the straws and other, larger-volume water-sanitising devices to outdoor adventurers. For each item sold, the company donates a water-purifying device to children in areas where clean water is scarce. Their Facebook page tells amazing stories of deploying the devices to communities and school kids and the team is quick to distribute the Lifestraw to areas that are experiencing the after effects of a disaster, such as the recent Nepal earthquake.
The device was awarded the best invention of the year in 2005 by Time magazine and has been recognised by numerous other publications, including Popular Science, The New York Times and Newsweek. This year, they are nominated by the The Humantiarian Water and Food Awards. The ceremony will be held in June 2015.
Head to the Lifestraw website for more information.