United Nations state that access to safe drinking water is a basic human right1, yet 2 billion people in less fortunate parts of the world have only access to unsafe water sources.2 This combined with poor sanitation and hygiene is the root cause of one of the world’s biggest health challenges.3
Unsafe drinking water increases the risk of transmission and outbreaks of diarrheal diseases which in worst case leads to death. Over 80% of the diarrheal deaths attributed to unsafe drinking water occur in the developing world.3
500.000 children die from diarrheal diseases every year – this is more than HIV, Malaria, and Tuberculosis combined, and makes it the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5 worldwide.3,4 Yet, only 1 out of 3 households are purifying their unsafe drinking water3, where boiling over firewood or charcoal is the most commonly used method – a process that is very time consuming, emits a lot of CO2, impacts health by indoor air pollution, and leads to deforestation.5,6
The tiresome work of water and firewood collection is predominantly done by children and women7,8, which take time away from attending school or working to support the family’s income.
SaWa (short for Safe Water) is a well-proven Danish invention based on the WHO-endorsed SODIS (short for SOlar DISinfection) process to purify microbial contaminated water for drinking9,10. The traditional SODIS process by PET bottles works by harnessing UV-A rays and heat from the sun. SaWa has improved this method by also harnessing UV-B rays, which in combination with the UV-A and heat significantly reduces the purification time and improves the killing of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa to a performance of minimum 99.9%
SaWa has been developed in collaboration with end-users in the refugee settlement Adjumani, Uganda. The size, capacity, features and working processes are carefully designed to fit the daily lives and needs in low-income, rural communities.