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Kate Jongbloed

4 clean water innovations that are changing lives in the developing world

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Kate Jongbloed

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Clean water is a cornerstone of life. Yet more than 2.2 million children die every year – that’s four every minute – as a result of diarrhea caused by contaminated water and poor hygiene.

Plan works with communities to build latrines and clean water points, as well as educating families about the importance of good hygiene. Here are 4 of our innovative projects!

1. Eco-filters keep schoolchildren safe from disease

clean water, Because I am a Girl, Plan CanadaKeeping children healthy at school is one of Plan’s key priorities. Making sure that water is safe to drink helps reduce gastrointestinal infections that prevent children from attending school regularly. That’s why Plan Guatemala delivered 800 water filters to families and classrooms in 200 communities!

2. Locally built latrines help millions

1.1 billion people around the world practice open defecation – or going to the bathroom out in the open. Open defecation is dangerous as it spreads disease and causes thousands of deaths every day.

In Asia and Africa, Plan is pioneering a radical new approach to clean water and sanitation– Community-Led Total Sanitation – which educates communities about the importance of sanitation and helps them to construct and maintain their own toilet facilities, or latrines. They also gain the confidence to enforce a total ban on open defecation.

Every year Plan helps communities build 2,000 school latrines and in the last three years has helped families and communities build an average of 100,000 toilets per year, benefiting several million people.

3. Tippy taps help refugees stay healthy

clean water, Because I am a Girl, Plan CanadaViolence in South Sudan has displaced nearly 100,000 people into neighbouring countries. As Plan responds to the influx of refugees, we work with families to drill boreholes, construct toilets and support good hygiene. Families in Baratuku resettlement camp are installing household ‘tippy taps’ where parents and their children can wash their hands without running water. Constructed with a water jug, rope, and wood, these innovative contraptions are simple to assemble. Tippy taps are operated by foot lever; the hands-free technology helps prevent transmission of bacteria!

4. Solar pumps save time for school

New solar powered water systems in Tanzania are cutting down the time it takes to collect water used for drinking, washing, irrigating and construction. Before the new pumps were installed, water had to be drawn by hand – a slow and laborious process. At busy times, there were often up to 100 people, including school children, lining up to collect water. Now, the pumps efficiently serve over 13,000 people who live in the area. By relying on the sun’s energy to draw water from boreholes, children have more time to spend in the classroom!