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Unilever home water purification

Challenge

Enable low-cost water purification at home in India.

Problem

More than 1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. In the developing world, 80% of all diseases are water-related. Diarrhoeal disease alone leads to over 2 million deaths and 4 billion episodes of disease every year worldwide. An estimated 400,000 deaths due to diarrhoeal disease happen among children in India every year, where 19% of all children under the age of three years have had diarrhoeal disease in any two week period. It is in this context that the United Nations has established the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people without safe drinking water, and reducing by two-thirds the mortality of children under five years, by 2015.

Solution

Hindustan Unilever developed Pureit, a self-contained water purifier for households in India. A Pureit consists of four parts: a ‘microfibre mesh’, a ‘carbon trap’, a ‘processor’ and a ‘polisher’. The microfibre mesh is a sieve, which filters out visible dirt. The carbon trap removes parasites and pesticides. The processor is a tablet that contains a form of chlorine, which removes bacterial and viral content. The polisher improves taste and clarity of water and removes the residual form of chlorine from the water. Hindustan Unilever collectively calls these parts the Germkill battery kit.

The Germkill battery kit can purify 1,500 litres of water at 250C in moderately humid conditions with a two-year shelf life, and comes with an end-of-life indicator. The plastic parts and the Germkill battery kit are made using food safe, non-toxic, engineering-grade materials.

Benefits

Protection from all water-borne diseases such as jaundice, diarrhoea, typhoid and cholera
No need for gas, electricity or continuous tap water supply
15 million people in India now accessing clean water

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