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Update: Water for Bangladesh

author
Lara
Community Managerin
  • 7 thousand households have better access to safe water.
  • Better education opportunities due to less sick days.
  • 653 kg of firewood saved per household every month by applying SODIS.
  • By embracing the sharing method additional 4 thousand people profit from this project’s impact.

How do WADI-devices work?

It's not magic, just science. You have probably heard that if you put clothes out in the sun, the sunrays will kill bacteria on them. This method is called solar disinfection (SODIS). The WADI (=WAter DIsinfection) devices work with the same principle. It is a small device that measures the amount of solar radiation. The built-in solar cell supplies power to the display. Plastic bottles are filled with water (don't worry, it never gets hot enough for harmful softeners to dissolve from the PET bottles into the water) and placed in the sun together with the WADI device. If they've been exposed to the sun long enough, a happy smiley will appear on the display indicating that the disinfection was successful and the water is now cleansed. So all you need is a WADI device, a bottle and water. No firewood or stove necessary.

The more the merrier.

Since the project launch, 7,025 households in Zarankhola have been equipped with WADI devices. In the first half of 2021, the project was able to help a further 13,850 people as a result of your ongoing support. So currently 39 thousand people are benefiting from this project. In 2017, when the project began, 4,100 WADI devices were purchased. Since then, there have been three upgrades that have nearly doubled the number of devices available. More and more households are voicing interest and want to be part of the project as well. Sharing is caring. Therefore, 10% of the households share their WADI with their friends and neighbors. Through this sharing method, it is estimated that an additional 4,000 people can be provided with clean drinking water. This project provides 14 million liters of water annually and avoids 40,000 tons of CO2. That is 2 tons per WADI unit per year.

How this affects our climate.

Before the project started, 97% of the households had to boil their water using simple clay stoves. This resulted in a monthly wood usage of 320 kg per household. Thanks to the resource-saving method of water disinfection using the sun's UV-rays, trees no longer have to be cut down and no climate-damaging CO2 is released during the boiling process.

Clean water to prevent waterborne diseases.

During the dry season, surface water is used for daily purposes. During this time, all households use their WADI device almost daily. During the rainy season, about 90% of households use them every 3-4 days, as rainwater is slightly less impure, but contamination is possible here as well. It is not uncommon for water that is only boiled to still be contaminated by bacteria afterwards.

Since implementing the use of WADI devices, waterborne diseases have decreased by 100%. This is a great success, because anyone who is sick will miss out on school or work. This impacts the children in particular, as having a good education is always important. Illnesses also create costs for medical treatment. However, since these are omitted, 9-14 USD can be saved per year. This may not sound like much to us Europeans, but in Bangladesh the reality is different.

Empowering marginalized people.

This project has more than just environmental benefits, but also social impact. The local project partner CDD (Centre for Disability in Development) is a non-profit organization working towards a more inclusive society for people with disabilities in Bangladesh. The goal is to create an environment in which people with disabilities can participate equally in the development process. With the introduction of 140 women's groups, a safe environment is created where they can meet, interact and share information. Since the creation of the groups in the fall of 2020, more than 500 meetings have already taken place.

Fotocredit: HELIOZ

Where your contribution goes:

  • More WADI devices can be obtained.
  • Educating people on the benefits of the sharing method.
  • Further extensions of the project can reach more parties wanting to join.
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