Projects Safe Water

Dispensers for Safe Water

Objective: Supplying chlorine dispensers is an innovative, low cost method for providing safe drinking water to local communities. This reduces water-borne diseases while at the same time contributing to forest and climate protection.

The Context

The incidence of diarrhea in Uganda is among the worst in the world: Approximately 23,000 Ugandans, mostly children, die from diarrhoea based diseases annually – nearly 90% of which are directly attributed to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. Chlorine has been shown to be microbiologically effective in killing viruses in water that causes diarrhoea, making water safe for drinking for up to seventy-two hours and providing a quicker, better alternative to boiling water.

The Project

This project provides effective, low cost access to safe drinking water for rural communities 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 water source, place their bucket or jerrican under the dispenser, turn the valve to dispense the correct amount of chlorine, and then fill the bucket as they normally would with water from the source. A community member is elected to be the dispenser 'promoter', who encourages use of the dispenser, reports any problems, and refills the dispenser with chlorine.

The Benefits

This simple technology reduces the burden of disease from diarrhea in communities. The provision of chlorine dispensers is coupled with an education program that teaches communities about the dangers of contaminated water. Individuals no longer have to boil water with wood fires, resulting in less smoke in homes, less pressure on surrounding forests and less time spent collecting firewood.

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