By Mary Hearty
Safe and readily available water remains important for public health, whether it is used for drinking, domestic use, food production or recreational purposes.
Yet, it is estimated that about 115 people in Africa die every hour from diseases linked to poor sanitation, poor hygiene and contaminated water, like cholera, typhoid, dysentery, polio and hepatitis among others, according to the United Nations.
In an effort to provide clean and readily available water for drinking, lecturers at the University of Eldoret have developed a portable water purifier system that has the capacity to naturally purify water that is contaminated with salt, disease-causing microorganisms, pesticides, and also soil matter.
David Samoei, laboratory manager at the University of Eldoret revealed that the portable water purifier system which has a flow rate of 7ml per minute. He noted that there is a pilot program underway in Eldoret to study how long the filters can efficiently work.
With the study reaching its fourth month, Samoei said they have been sampling their water twice a month and the filtration system has proven to be efficient.
He added that the pilot study uses water from boreholes but water from other sources like rivers and lakes can be used as well.
Samoei noted that though water disinfectants like residual chlorine are commonly used, he encourages the use of natural purifiers instead because, residual chlorine reacts with carbon substances in water to form compounds which are not good for human consumption.
This portable water purifier was exhibited during the 2022 Innovation Week at the University of Nairobi.