What is the LifeStraw?
The LIFEStraw is a small, portable filtration device that provides pure, clean drinking water whenever it is immersed into a water source (just like a normal straw). This Straw, however, saves lives on a daily basis by filtering out waterborne diseases – which accounts for over 6,500 deaths every day – 5,000 of those being children.
This revolutionary Straw has proven to be effective against waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, guinea worm, and diarrhoea, and removes particles as small as fifteen microns.
See more at: www.waterislife.com
How It Began
LifeStraw began when a young Danish graduate, whose family owned a small textile company, took a trip in the 1990s around Africa, where contaminated water claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen started to think how he could put the family company to good use for the people of Africa. The result was LifeStraw, a cheap, portable personal water purifier, cited by Forbes Magazine in 2006 as “one of the 10 things that will change the way we live”.
After he met experts from the Carter Center of former US President Jimmy Carter who were working on Guinea Worm, the debilitating and painful parasite disease spread by larva in lakes, ponds and streams, the company developed a simple solution – a metal pipe with a fabric textile screen filter allowing people to drink from contaminated sources.
“It turned out to be a giant hit and we ended up selling 23 million of these pipe filters to the Carter Center,” Vestergaard Frandsen spokesman Peter Cleary told IRIN in a telephone interview.
The LifeStraw is a personal, portable water purifier that eliminates virtually all waterborne bacteria and most viruses responsible for causing diarrheal diseases. The product, which costs as little as $3, has won a number of awards, including the 2008 Saatchi & Saatchi Award for World Changing Ideas.
“The LifeStraw empowers people so they don’t have to wait for the government to come up with solutions,” says Mr. Frandsen, who is now 36 and president and chief executive officer of the family’s Lausanne, Switzerland-based company, Vestergaard Frandsen, which manufactures the LifeStraw.
The light blue straw with a resilient polystyrene shell looks like a child’s musical recorder. When someone sucks through the straw, the water flows through textile and iodine filters, which kill off viruses and bacteria such as E. coli.
The company says nongovernmental organizations and nonprofit agencies already have bought hundreds of thousands of the drinking tubes and are distributing them in countries with unsafe drinking water.
Aid groups also are buying them for communities devastated by natural disasters.
Read More: online.wsj.com
LifeStraw is a water filter designed to be used by one person to filter water so that they may safely drink it. It filters a maximum of 1000 litres of water, enough for one person for one year. It removes almost all of waterborne bacteria and parasites.The LifeStraw Family, a larger unit designed for family use, also filters out nearly all microbes.
LifeStraw includes LifeStraw and LifeStraw Family, which are complementary point-of-use water filters designed by the Swiss-based Vestergaard Frandsen for people living in developing nations and for distribution in humanitarian crisis. LifeStraw Family filters a maximum of 18,000 litres of water, providing safe drinking water for a family of five for up to three years.
LifeStraw and LifeStraw Family were distributed in the 2010 Haiti earthquake, 2010 Pakistan floods, and 2011 Thailand floods. In the Mutomo District in Kenya which has suffered from long term drought, the Kenya Red Cross supplied filters to 3,750 school children and 6,750 households.