LifeStraw: Changing The Future of Clean Drinking Water One Straw at a Time

By: Shona Bewly, Staff Writer

Water is essential for life. There is no way around it. According to World Health Organization’s 2013 report, 185 million people can only supply their daily drinking water needs by relying on surface water. What can you do for the 768 million people who do not have an adequate or upgraded source for drinking water?

You provide a simple tool: the LifeStraw. This cylinder shaped straw, weighing only two ounces, is capable of filtering 1,000 liters of water. LifeStraw does not contain chemicals, is BPA free, and removes up to 99.9 percent of waterborne bacteria.

LifeStraw can provide filtration for any sources of water without the use of electricity, batteries or moving parts. The filtration process is triggered through the simple act of sucking, an action that even the youngest of children can achieve.
What does LifeStraw mean for the future of clean drinking water? It means an affordable and simple way to help millions of people without access to clean water. It also means a reduction in diseases like cholera and diarrhea that develop in children and adults from drinking water that carries bacteria.

The World Health Organization states that, “The world remains off track to meet the MDG sanitation target, which requires reducing the proportion of people without access from 51 percent to 25 percent by 2015.” The ability for this tool to impact such high populations without access to proper water and sanitation offers the chance for us to meet the Millennium Development Goals and perhaps even surpass those goals.

Developed by a company called Vestergaard Frandsen, this product targets improving health in the developing world and is one to look out for.

Shona Bewley has a degree in International Development and Communications from York University. She is a travel addict looking for her next adventure and loves to write about current issues affecting her generation.

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