The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded PATH, an international, non-profit organization, $17 million to test new approaches to ensure that low-income people in developing countries have safe drinking water in their homes.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded PATH, an international, non-profit organization working to improve the health of people around the world, $17 million to test new approaches to ensure that low-income people in developing countries have safe drinking water in their homes. The grant, distributed over five years, will allow PATH to identify low-cost consumer products that can treat and store water in the home and to develop a commercial market for those products.
While safe drinking water is essential to good health, in resource-poor settings, water often comes from unsafe sources and carries deadly microbes. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.8 million people die each year from diarrheal diseases, many of which are attributed to an unsafe water supply.
Building on work pioneered by existing water experts, PATH will work closely with the private sector, safe water experts, and others in the development, marketing and distribution of a range of products that will effectively treat unsafe water and that are practical and affordable to families in the developing world. The organization also will work to ensure access to the products and to promote their use in the most vulnerable communities.
“This award is a chance to address one of the most pressing challenges in global health – how to get safe water to people in need,” says Christopher J. Elias, MD, MPH, president of PATH. “We are particularly excited to use our 30 years of experience in creating and adapting technologies for low-resource settings on such a critical issue.”
New Project Targets Safe Drinking Water
February 15, 2007