One out of two families in Tanzania has no access to safe drinking water. Rural communities depend mostly on water sourced from boreholes, wells, scoop holes and rainwater harvesting.
The quality of water from these sources ranges from good to poor depending on the source of water used, means of collection and storage. Access to safe water is vital for reducing water related diseases.
Plan Tanzania is promoting the SODIS (Solar Water Disinfection) method to disinfect drinking water in 7 rural villages in Kisarawe near Dar Es Salaam.
Plan has trained 24 SODIS community promoters who have taught 1200 families - more than 15,000 people - to apply the SODIS method to treat their drinking water.
SODIS is a simple, environmentally sustainable, low-cost solution for drinking water treatment at household level for people consuming contaminated raw water.
The method uses solar energy to destroy pathogenic microorganisms which cause waterborne diseases. The microorganisms are vulnerable to two effects of sunlight: radiation of UV-A light and heat.
Contaminated water is filled into transparent plastic bottles and exposed to full sunlight for 6 hours. During the exposure to the sun the pathogens are destroyed.
The treatment efficiency can be improved if the plastic bottles are exposed on sunlight reflecting surfaces such as aluminum or corrugated iron sheets.
Compared with other drinking water disinfection techniques at household level i.e. boiling, filtering and the use of chlorine tablets, SODIS was found to be most useful due to its effectiveness, simplicity, ease of use and inexpensiveness.
This project has helped more than 15,000 people from Kisarawe who had never used this method before and now have access to clean, safe drinking water.
Learn more about SODIS: http://www.sodis.ch/index_EN