Water works: how a simple technology in Dhaka is changing the way people get clean water

Water works: how a simple technology in Dhaka is changing the way people get clean water.
Amy Pickering laughs when she thinks of all the things that went wrong with the impact evaluation she recently completed of a water chlorination project in the slums of Bangladesh’s capital city Dhaka: delays, monsoons, and more delays.
For Pickering, who specializes in water quality and diarrheal disease, the challenge was finding a water treatment technology that could work without electricity and operate in Dhaka’s extreme weather.
The impact evaluation study provides critical evidence on how to use simple, low-cost technology to make water safe in dense, urban areas that lack reliable energy sources.
Why focus on individual water points—in this case, handpumps or taps in communal areas—rather than create a centralized solution before the water is pumped to these water points?
They had already designed a chlorine doser for animals, and were in the process of adapting it for people and so we partnered with them for the evaluation.
It’s a very simple technology that doesn’t require electricity.
We had to convince them that chlorine water is safe and that it’s used throughout the developing world.
We plan to disseminate the results to the Bangladesh government and other organizations working on increasing access to safe water later this summer with the hopes that they are interested in implementing the chlorine dosers.
Public water in developed countries is generally very safe, but there are still contaminants, like lead, and I do sometimes worry about that when my kids drink.

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