Water Is Life has been working towards improving world water health and sanitation since 2007. You may have seen the video they created, using people from the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, to put tweets from the popular #FirstWorldProblems in stark perspective.
Founded by Ken Surritte, the organization works toward partnerships with people here in the United States and currently with people in villages in Haiti, Kenya, and Ghana. In addition to providing clean water, their main focus is on educating people on sanitation matters and working with local communities for sustainable change.
One of their main filtration techniques has been a portable straw that automatically filters water while a person drinks through it and provides a month’s worth of clean water for one person.
In May, Water is Life, along with Dr. Theresa Dankovich and researchers from the University of Virginia, introduced the Drinkable Book. This “book” contain “pages” that, when removed and set into the plastic box that the book comes in, can filter water for up to 30 days, eliminating bacteria and rendering it to the safety equivalence of typical US tap water. Each “book” contains enough filters to provide up to four years of clean drinking water. What’s more, each “page”—or filter—contains sanitation information, printed in both English and Swahili, in standard food ink so that those who use these filters will also begin to understand and practice healthy sanitation.
Production of the Drinkable Book is still in the works, but at just pennies a page, it is being touted as one of the cheapest and most effective forms of water sanitation. Dr. Dankovich took the book to South Africa last year and is continuing to test it in Ghana this fall. Learn more and see the book in action at WaterIsLife.com/media/videos.
– Jennifer Carpenter