This project is a multi partner project aiming to demonstrate that solar disinfection, of drinking water is an effective intervention against waterborne diseases. The European Union (EU) recently awarded a €1.9-million research grant to the three-year programme, which will be carried out by nine research
groups in Ireland, Kenya, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and Zimbabwe.
According to the CSIR, the project could be of immeasurable benefit to
"vulnerable communities in developing countries who normally do not have a reliable, safe water supply, as well as those communities who might find themselves exposed to natural or man-made disasters." The project aims to help reduce the number of fatalities, especially among sub-Sahara African children under the age of five, caused by diarrhoeal diseases resulting from exposure to contaminatedwater.
According to the United Nations Development Programme's Human
Development Report 2006, diarrhoea is the second biggest killer of children worldwide, claiming the lives of around 1.8-million children a year, while 1.1-billion people in the world still have no regular access to clean water. Solar disinfection of drinking water is a low-tech, safe and affordable method to improve water quality. It involves placing contaminated water in transparent bottles which are then placed in direct sunshine for six hours. The method has been approved by the World Health Organisation, and is commended for its proven efficiency in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia in 2004.
Source: South Africa.infor reporter (http://www.southafrica.info/about/sustainable/sodis.htm