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Access to clean water and job creation for disadvantaged youth in Bangladesh
While lack of access to clean, safe drinking water is a global problem, Bangladesh is particularly hard hit. According to the World Health Organization, high levels of arsenic in the country's groundwater, principally due to the arsenic-rich rocks through which the water is filtered, have affected nearly 35 million people in and contributes to 1 out of 5 deaths - the largest mass poisoning in history. Treating the country's groundwater would require a massive investment in infrastructure.
At the same time, surface water sources such lakes, rivers and ponds are rife with bacteria and viruses, contributing to illness and deaths. Diarrheal disease is Bangladesh's biggest killer, contributing to 62 out of every 1,000 deaths in children under five each year. Tackling surface impurities, however, does not require the same level of infrastructure investment.
Watersprint, the Sweden-based environmental technology company, is using a unique UV-LED technology capable of removing remove bacteria and viruses from water with very low energy consumption: the unit can run on just 12 volts from a solar panel or battery. The company has committed to provide 50,000 people in Bangladesh with access to safe and clean drinking water by 2020. To support this effort, the company will provide training and employment to 500 disadvantaged Bangladeshi youth.