CAMBODIA — Just because it doesn’t have blinking lights and a WiFi connection doesn’t mean it isn’t tech. In developing countries, sometimes the simplest designs can make worlds of difference in the lives of the people who use them.
Case in point: Cambodia, where UNICEF and the Water Sanitation Program teamed up to build ceramic water filters, which were distributed to the population. The project won an International Water Association Award in 2008. The filters cut the rates of diarrheal illness in the region by as much as 50 percent since the filters were introduced in 2002.
A theme of tech articles on cfile.daily is “Wow, that’s fascinating, even though I don’t quite understand the science behind it.” Inhabitat shows just how simple the engineering is. More than that, this is the kind of information that could be useful in a survival scenario. Keep it in your back pocket, just in case.
Developed in a joint effort between UNICEF and the WSP, these ceramic water filters rely upon porous ceramic (fired clay) to filter microbes or other contaminants from drinking water. The units feature a pore size that is small enough to remove virtually all bacteria and protozoa, and they work by gravity filtration, with flow rates of 1-3 liters per hour.
There are 3 active factories in Cambodia today producing 5500 ceramic water filters per month, which have been tested to reduce E-coli by 99.99 percent. The filters are distributed and marketed with the aid of a variety of NGOs and independent businesses in Cambodia. This trial program has proven successful and planned for expansion in the near future, with the hope of addressing the needs of two thirds of all Cambodians that don’t have access to clean drinking water.
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.
What do you think of this application of contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.