SODIS Foundation

To develop and promote solutions for improving drinking water quality and health. For achieving this, we cooperate with the private, public and development sector in order to benefit people in Latin America.
Feb 26, 2014

Final Report

This SODIS indicator goes from red to yellow in 6h
This SODIS indicator goes from red to yellow in 6h

Dear supporters,

This is the final report on our project to develop an indicator for Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS). The goal of this project was to develp and test a low-cost device which can tell users of the SODIS method when the PET bottles which are used for this process have been exposed to sufficient amounts of sunlight. During the course of the project, we tried several approaches to solve this problem:

- Materials-based approach: Some materials change colour according to the amount of sunlight they receive. This fact can be use to produce a SODIS indicator, and in fact we identified a producer of an adequate product and carried out field tests with it. It works well in the field, but the drawbacks are the fact that the indicators can only be used once and that the price per unit is fairly high - 0.40$ may sound like a small amount, but each user family will need at least 10 to start with, and that's already 4$ - and then they will need more... However, the product works and the SODIS Foundation will continue to use it where it sees a need and a benefit in doing so - for example in situations where there is not enough time to train people thoroughly, like it is the case in some emergency siutations we are attending at the moment in Bolivia.

- Electronic approach. We have supported and collaborated with several groups (both research and private sector) around the world who are working on the development of an electronic device which measures the amount of sunshine received and tells a user when the water in the bottles is ready for drinking. Two of these groups went ahead to set up formal organizations (www.helioz.org and www.potavida.org, who we mentioned earlier) and are currently undergoing field tests of advanced versions of their prototypes. The advantage of these devices, as compared to a single-use device, is that they can be used for a long time (several years), which makes for an ideal training and teaching device. The drawback is the prize - but this will come down as the numbers of units produced increase. We will keep in contact with these organizations and actually may field-tests some of their products later this year. 

Thus, we think that we have reached a stage where we can close this project. Over the past years, we have developed and tested several prototypes, supported research around the world and helped to establish two companies. We hope that this initiative will continue evolving and wish all the people and organizations involved all the best - for that in the near future, a SODIS indicator will be available for everyone who needs one - potentially, that would be at least 870 million people who currently do not have access to safe drinking water!

If you have questions or comments about our project, please do not hesitate to contact us (info@fundacionsodis.org).

At this point, we also want to thank all of the people who supported this project. Without these inputs, we could not have done all of this, and we also want to extend the thanks of all the people who directly benefited from this project.

Best regareds from the whole project team,

Matthias Saladin

Feb 12, 2014

Inspired and inspirational

Maribel shows how to obtain clean drinking water
Maribel shows how to obtain clean drinking water

Inspirational story from the field

On this occasion, we would like to share with you a truly inspirational story about our project “Safe Drinking Water for 40 Schools in Bolivia”:

Last week, we visited some families and schools in the field and went to Encanta Pampa. Encanta Pampa is a district located in the northeastern part of the town of Tiquipaya, where 300 migrant families from different mining areas of Bolivia live. In this neighborhood resides 8-year old Maribel (see picture) with her parents and two younger brothers. She attends the afternoon shift at the local school where, for the last two years, one of the teachers has been committed to teaching his students the importance of disinfecting water before drinking.

Maribel listened to her teacher’s advice and applied the SODIS (Solar Water Disinfection) method for disinfecting water at her home, teaching her family how to do it.

“In my house, I’m the one who makes SODIS water for my family in order to take care of my brothers so they don’t get sick.” These were the words of Maribel while proudly showing her bottles and the place where she exposes them to sunlight. Her mother is happy that her daughter cares about their health saying, “She is always with water bottles, and she also made portable faucets for washing hands with her brothers.”

Maribel is just one example of the great results we are achieving through this project. We find examples like this very inspirational for our work and wanted to make use of this opportunity to say "Thank you", because only with your help stories like the one of Maribel are possible.

 Bonus Day ahead: increase your impact!

We also wanted to inform you that this February 12, we are having the 1st Bonus Day of 2014. Any donation up to $1000 will be matched by an additional 30%! We think this is a great opportuniy for you to help us even more with our cause, since your donation will create an additional 30% impact, completely for free to you. For example, if you decided to donate 100$, the project actually receives 130$! (Donations only will be matched on February 12, starting at 9 AM EST, and matching funds are limited - so please make sure to make your donation as soon as possible after 9 AM).

 

We hope that we continue to be both inspired and inspirational. Best regards from the whole project team.

Dec 16, 2013

Scaling up

Hand washing is a key component of the project
Hand washing is a key component of the project

We wanted to let you know about exciting developments regarding our project in 40 schools in Tiquipaya (Bolivia). As we reported earlier, the project has been going really well, with teachers, kids and parents learning many new ways on how to prevent diseases and improve quality of live at schools as well as at home. Over the past two years, we reached more than 10,000 kids and trained more than 500 teachers, thus significantly improving living and learning conditions of 40 schools in the municipality of Tiquipaya.

The project has been received well by beneficiaries, but also by authorities of the municipality and the Ministry of Education at district level. Given that this project directly improves health status of children, we are now talking to a major NGO in Bolivia to bring this intervention to larger scale. We currently can not give away names, but we are preparing an external evaluation for the project for spring 2014, and we are identifying additional areas where the next phase of the project can be implemented.

The positive impact of the project can be observed every day at the project schools and families. Safe drinking water is available to all kids, and hygiene practices such as hand washing have improved drastically. As Trifonia Ricaldi, a teacher in one of the schools said: "My kids no longer miss classes because of stomach problems or pains." Well, we think that this is significant, and we want to let more people benefit from these simple solutions for saving lives.

On behalf of the whole project team, I want to thank you very much for being part of this initiative. We are sure that in 2014, we can take this project to a next level, and hope that you want to join us in this journey.

Thankfully,

Matthias Saladin

PS: Starting December 20, a co-funding campaign starts to support recurring donations (recurring donations are donations which continue over a period of time, repeating the same amount for several times). For all recurring donations which start after December 20 and continue for at least 4 months, we will receive an additional monthly contribution from the GlobalGiving Foundation, so your donation will have even more impact. And don't forget, you can also donate in the name of someone, which makes for a great gift.

We train men AND women on how to improve health
We train men AND women on how to improve health

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