Water disinfection at point of collection
Each year over 1 million children under the age of five die from diarrheal diseases, a leading cause of which is unsafe drinking water. In India alone, 1,600 children die every day due to waterborne diseases. Even if diarrheal episodes are not fatal, chronic diarrheal in early childhood can contribute to malnutrition, with potentially adverse long-term consequences for child development.
Centralized treatment and distribution systems are prohibitively expensive for municipal governments in low-income countries. On the other hand, water treatment at the point-of-use (POU) is cost effective (e.g. chlorine tablets and domestic filters), but success has been limited due to behavioral change issues, capital cost and difficulty in ensuring correct dosage, filter replacement, etc. After two decades of experience with POU technologies, only 11% of people in low-income countries report use of a POU product.