Using the Sun to Sterilize Water
Friday, March 24, 2006
Tanzanian villagers have begun using an energy-saving method to sterilise their drinking water – leaving the water under the sun.
The piped water supply to Ndolela village in the central Iringa region is intermittent and even when it does flow, it is not clean enough to drink. When the pipes run dry, villagers get water from a dirty spring.
Mother of five Rose Longwa says the new process has changed her life. “We no longer suffer from stomach illness. That’s because the water is clean and safe.”
Like many other people in rural Africa with no access to safe drinking water, she used to sterilise her water by boiling it. But she says the smoke from the firewood to heat the water used to irritate her eyes. She is also glad she no longer has to go to fetch wood from the bush.
About 40 houses in Ndolela are using solar purification. Mrs Longwa says the process is simple to follow.?
“I fill the plastic bottles, put the lids on, then put them on my black-painted roof where they stay for a whole day.”
The sun heats the water, helped by the black roof, which helps to absorb the heat.
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