Access to clean drinking water is a luxury that exists for few in the majority of developing countries. That is, unless the SODIS method is practiced – an inexpensive, practical practice of water disinfection that is gaining momentum worldwide and saving lives as a consequence.
The SODIS website provides a succinct explanation of its methodology that is open to all:
“Solar water disinfection – the SODIS method – is a simple procedure to disinfect drinking water. Contaminated water is filled in a transparent PET-bottle or glass bottle and exposed to the sun for 6 hours. During this time, the UV-radiation of the sun kills diarrhoea (diarrhea) generating pathogens. The SODIS-method helps to prevent diarrhoea and thereby is saving lives of people. This is urgently necessary as still more than 4000 children die every day from the consequences of diarrhoea.”
The acronym “SODIS” stands for Solar Water Disinfection, an initiative of Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Sciences and Technology, whose mission is to provide people in developing countries with access to clean drinking water and reduce infant mortality. The UN estimates that 4,000 children in the world die each day.
Eawag reports that more than 5 million people now clean their drinking water with the SODIS method, but adds there are still almost 1 billion people still do not have access to safe drinking water.
The organization’s educational activities are targeted in Africa we increased the number of projects considerably. Presently we conduct SODIS projects in 24 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“One of the most important criteria for the selection of the countries in which we work is the number of people lacking safe drinking water,” writes the SODIS team. “Equally important is that we collaborate with an experienced and reliable partner organisation. This is crucial for the success of a project as the partner organisation is responsible for the implementation in the field.”
The SODIS newsletter reports the drinking water situation is improving in Pakistan – an endeavor that has continued since 2002. “The statistics of the Ministry of Health reveal a major decrease in diarrhoeal diseases in the project areas.”
This success is good news, especially considering that 80 percent of Pakistan’s drinking water is still microbiologically contaminated according to a government study. And this is only one location where the SODIS method is making a measurable difference.
PHOTOS: SODIS madeleien_djike
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