Living in New Zealand, a country that has, in my opinion, the best and safest drinking water, it’s hard to imagine that one-sixth of the world’s population (nearly one billion people) are without clean water on a daily basis.
Most of us simply acknowledge information such as this by finding an organization to donate some money to help fund clean water campaigns and then move on to the next pressing issue. But some Iowa engineering students didn’t. They heard the facts and then rolled up their sleeves and designed a $5, hand-held device that can sanitize water, saving lives as a result.
What started as a simple class project has developed into something much, much bigger. The hand sanitizer took away the First Prize at the 2008 Environmental Protection Agency Awards, a prize that is worth $75,000. The win is prestigious enough but to the students at UI College of Engineering, the money is the key, for it’s going to be used to make water sanitizers available to Ghana and other developing countries in the future.