Our project to develop a low-cost indicator for Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) keeps advancing. Two of the organizations we are in contact with now have prototypes of electronic indicators and they are currently in talks with investors in order to finance the production of initial series. We hope to see these series produced within a few months so that the first projects in the field can start soon.
In the meantime, we will be working on an alternative approach: We have been contacted by researchers from Queens University in Belfast (Ireland) who are working with materials which change color according to the amount of solar radiation received - for example, a plastic which turns from blue to transparent after some hours in the sun. This mechanism enables users to know immediately if their water bottles have been exposed to sufficient amounts of sunlight in order to be safe for consumption. Our ultimate goal is to have such devices which are re-useable, but for a start we will work with disposable indicators. The informal parthership with this research organization is a great step ahead and we are looking forward to hearing from the first phase of field tests, which is planned to take place in June - we will keep you updated.
More good news: Until Sunday, May 12, there is a special campaign for gift cards on Global Giving: each supporter who buys a gift card for a loved one or colleague will generate an additional $5 for our project ($5 for each card, that is!). $8,000 are available in matching funds and a $1,000 bonus will be awarded to the project with the most tribute card donors. So please, send a gift card to say Happy Mother's Day or just greet friends and family in the next week to help us reach our target (e-cards and hard copy versions are available - simple choose the "Gift or In-Honor of"-tab in the window with the donation options).
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