The lack of water many communities face is staggering on so many levels. However, one innovative product, Vestergaard Frandsen’s LifeStraw, is bringing clean drinking water to isolated communities in drought-prone areas such as rural Kenya. Under the campaign slogan of “Follow the Liters,” the LifeStraw team and its distributor Eartheasy have just installed water purifiers for 301 schools, providing clean drinking water for over 150,000 Kenyan students.
The LifeStraw product uses advanced hollow fiber technology to filter water from almost any source, without using chemicals. The award-winning design cleans water from contaminated rivers or lakes and converts it into drinkable water. Originally designed as an emergency response tool in order to provide clean water following a natural disaster, the Lifestraw removes 99.9 percent of potentially deadly waterborne bacteria and protozoa.
Although the cigar-sized device brings clean water to individual users, the Lifestraw team is currently on a campaign to bring clean drinking water to the masses. The latest collaboration by Vestergaard and Eartheasy, Follow the Liter, provides one school child in Kenya with safe drinking water for an entire school year in exchange for one single purchase of a Lifestraw product.
In October this year, 80 staff members and volunteers installed 1,646 LifeStraw community water purifiers in 301 schools in rural western Kenya, providing safe drinking water to 157,975 children for years to come. Thanks to the initiative, Simakina Primary School is now providing clean drinking water to its 600 students. During the opening ceremony, Simakina’s head teacher explained the massive impact of the campaign on not only Simakina students, but in the surrounding areas,”Water sanitation and hygiene are our biggest problems. Kenya is not on track to meet Millennium Development Goals with only 37 percent of schools having access to clean water. Absenteeism due to sickness is a major factor. We are going to increase our performance now.”