Big Problem: DIRTY DRINKING WATER
One in nine people around the globe— nearly all of them based in the developing world—lack clean, potable water. The result: 3.4 million people die of water-, sanitation-, and hygiene-related causes like diarrhea and typhoid every year.
Simple Solution: A PURIFYING STRAW
Developed by Swiss company Vestergaard, the LifeStraw eliminates 99.9 percent of all waterborne bacteria and parasites. Easy to use and cheap to manufacture, it sells for $10 to government agencies and nonprofits that buy the devices in bulk and hand them out for free. So far, LifeStraws have been distributed to millions in 64 countries.
Purchase your own LifeStraw (buylifestraw.com) and Vestergaard will distribute a portion of your payment to fund water purifiers in Africa.
Big Problem: DANGEROUS ERRANDS
In poor, rural areas, where clean water can be miles away from those who need it, women and girls are usually assigned the backbreaking, sometimes treacherous work of gathering it—a chore that can take hours. The result: Many girls forgo school to be family water gatherers.
Simple Solution: A REINVENTED WHEEL
Devised by South African architect Hans Hendrikse and his civil engineer brother, Piet, the ultra-durable Q Drum holds 13 gallons of water and can be easily pulled instead of carried. At roughly $81, the Q Drum is still considered pricey, but its makers are partnering with local humanitarian groups to defray the cost.
To learn more about donating to a Q Drum project, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.