Preventing disease and contributing to forest and climate protection

Supplying chlorine dispensers is an innovative, low-cost method for providing safe drinking water to local communities, and a better alternative to boiling. This reduces incidences of water-borne disease, while simultaneously contributing to forest and climate protection.

The Context

Approximately 23,000 Ugandans, mostly children, die from easily avoided gastrointestinal illnesses annually – nearly 90% of these cases are directly attributable to poor water and sanitation. Chlorine is proven to be microbiologically effective in killing viruses in water that cause gastrointestinal disease, making water safe to drink for up to 72 hours, and providing a faster, better alternative to boiling.

The Project

This project provides effective, low-cost access to safe drinking water for rural communities in eastern Uganda by treating water with chlorine at its source. The Chlorine Dispenser System consists of dispenser hardware and a regular supply of chlorine. To use it, community members go to their normal water source, place their bucket or jerrican under the dispenser, turn the valve to dispense the correct amount of chlorine, and then fill up. A community member is elected as 'promoter', encouraging dispenser use, refilling it with chlorine, and reporting on any problems.

The Benefits

This simple technology reduces the burden of water-borne gastrointestinal illness in communities. The project also includes an education programme that teaches community members about the dangers of contaminated water. Individuals no longer have to boil water using firewood, meaning reduced smoke in homes, relieved pressure on surrounding forests, and less time spent collecting firewood.

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