It took us a while to learn about LifeStraw, a product made in Switzerland by the company Vestergaard Frandsen, “designed for the poorest”. This revolutionary straw, can filter about 1000 liters of water, enough for one person for a year. In the company’s own words, for 25€, you have “1000 liters of water in your pocket” with “99.99999 percent” of waterborne bacteria completely eliminated. It is complemented by the second invention of the Swiss company, LifeStraw Family, which can filter 18 000 liters of water, i.e. up to three years of water for a family of five.
The two products have already been distributed following natural disasters such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2011 Pakistani and Thai floods. This could be revolutionary in a world where an enormous part of the population lives in dry areas and where 780 million people still lack access to clean water and where still 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases every year.
With LifeStraw, the water is filtered through micro-organisms, which annihilate dirt, parasites and other pathogens. So far, it looks like it really works. It has been distributed in several countries, since supposedly, each time a person buys a LifeStraw this impacts directly several countries, where the straw is then implemented. Nevertheless, some criticize it for being still too much expensive for developing countries.
Still, some international agencies, such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) or the World Health Organization, have referred to this filter while analyzing access to drinking water, and Time magazine referred to it as the “Best Invention of 2005”.
Evidently, LifeStraw is not yet able to resolve the necessity of implementing clean water worldwide. Still, there is no doubt that this could be life-changing for many people in the world, and we seriously hope it will work.
[We thank Frederico Zenóglio for giving us to know LifeStraw]