Popularize Cheap Clean Drinking Water (SODIS)

Using simplicity to combat a major global problem and putting discarded plastic to good use along the way. In 1991 the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology, EAWAG and SANDEC, developed and tested the Solar Water Disinfections Process SODIS. At least one third of the population, about 1,1 billion people, in developing countries have no access to safe drinking water. The lack of adequate water supply and sanitation facilities causes a serious health hazard, shown by the fact that there are about 4 billion cases of diarrhea per year, out of which 2.5 million cases end in death. Every 15 seconds a child dies of dehydration due to diarrhea.

SODIS offers a simple technology, affordable for every household, in order to improve the microbiological quality of drinking water by using solar radiation to destroy pathogenic microorganisms. Contaminated water is filled into transparent PET bottles and exposed to sunlight for six hours. Sunlight treats the contaminated water through two synergetic mechanisms: Radiation in the spectrum of UV-A and increased water temperature.

Another possible method for water disinfection like boiling the water before drinking is rarely used because often firewood is rare and expensive. Chlorination would be another possibility, but dependant on the availability of this chemical in remote areas. However, chlorinated water is rarely accepted by people because of its bad taste. Since 1995, SANDEC is engaged in providing information, technical support and advice to local institutions in developing countries for the worldwide promotion and dissemination of SODIS.

During the World Water Days 2001, SODIS was recommended by the WHO as a cheap and simple method of drinking water treatment. In October 2000 "FundaciĆ³n Sodis" was founded to support the implementation in Latin America. 2001 the "Solaqua Foundation" was established and began supporting local NGO's in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia

PS: In a small group, you can consider making an animation that explains the process and its benefits in local languages. This could be a flash animation. Essentially, do & learn :)