Patented hand-washing dispenser will reduce water-borne disease

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 19 October 2010

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed an affordable hand-washing device for poor communities to fight and prevent water-borne diseases.

Continuous use of the same water leads to contamination

The CSIR’s Ester Ngorima said in the developing world, diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections cause the death of millions of children under the age of five. Diarrhoea is estimated to kill around two to three million children annually.

Hand-washing with soap could cut these figures by half.

“Due to water scarcity, many rural and peri-urban people in South Africa face sanitation and hygiene challenges, leading to disease,” said Ngorima.

The device is easy enough to use. You need an empty 2l bottle filled with clean water. The hand-washing dispenser would then be screwed into the opening of the bottle.

“The dispenser releases enough water to enable hygienic hand-washing with soap. To get the water, place your hands under the device and it lift the plunger. When you lower your hands, the device seals itself.

“The device limits water wastage, with around 30 hand washes per 2l of water. It has a soap dish and typically hangs upside down on a bracket fastened to a wall,” said Ngorima.

While many people have tried using a bucket of water and a towel for hand-washing outside a toilet, the water evaporates from open buckets and the continuous use of the same water leads to contamination.

Unsupervised children and domestic animals tend to drink this water. Dust also gets into the exposed bucket of water. Continue reading

Saving water at schools

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 22 May 2010

Schools in Nelson Mandela Bay are signing up for an initiative that will not only help them save water, but also gain valuable knowledge.

Rainwater Harvesting by Water Rhapsody

The Port Elizabeth Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Percci) teamed up with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality with the idea to promote water saving at schools, as the combined dam water level is currently an abysmal 35.5%.

Flowing from the water-saving idea came an adopt-a-school project, with several companies now having adopted schools in the Bay to help them get their water systems in order, for instance by fixing leaks.

Percci chief executive Kevin Hustler said the organisation was pleased the initiative has been embraced by industry.

“It is making a difference by reaching out to poor communities with help not only in reducing water wastage, but also in creating a better schooling environment for learners and teachers,” Hustler said.

“We are very concerned about the water crisis and have been working with the metro to spread the word about saving water to industry. “Because schools were identified as one of the major areas of water wastage (accounting for up to 7% of the metro’s water consumption), we encouraged the major industries to get involved and make a difference in their own plants as well as in the wider community.”

Percci’s water working group and the municipality’s water department shared ideas on water-saving ideas, such as looking at borehole management, harvesting rainwater from factory roofs, use of grey water and recycled water, and also initiatives like the adopt-a-school project.

So far 14 needy schools in the Bay have been earmarked for the project and several other companies have also come on board to assist the schools.

Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron said “The environmentally sound programmes will benefit children and influence them on a long term basis by allowing them to grow up to care for the environment”.

– Shaanaaz de Jager
Source: Weekend Post