LifeStraw delivers clean drinking water to children in developing areas

At least 2 billion people across the globe use a contaminated source of drinking water on a regular basis, according to the World Health Organization. That water can transmit harmful diseases like diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio, and is believed to be responsible for more than 500,000 deaths each year. Those are some sobering numbers for sure, but one company has made it a mission to address this issue one child at a time.

LifeStraw is best known for making affordable and effective water filtration systems for use in the outdoors or when traveling abroad. The company offers a line of products that range from its original LifeStraw model, which sells for $20, all the way up to the LifeStraw Go, a water bottle with built-in filtration capabilities priced at $50. These carbon-based filters are capable of removing more than 99.9 percent of all waterborne bacteria, protozoa, and parasites, which has made them popular with hikers, backpackers, and adventure travelers alike.

But LifeStraw wasn’t just content to provide water-purification options to its customers. In 2014, it also launched an initiative called Follow the Liters, through which the company vowed to deliver clean drinking water to 1 million people across the globe. To reach that goal, LifeStraw pledged that for every one of its products sold, one school-age child in a developing country would receive safe drinking water for an entire year. Now, a little over three years later, it is well on its way to making that pledge a reality.


According to the Follow the Liters website, LifeStraw has provided more than 633,000 children with safe drinking water so far. The company’s efforts have impacted ,1053 schools in developing countries, mostly by delivering LifeStraw Community filtration systems to rural areas throughout Kenya and India.

The LifeStraw Community is a high-volume purifier and storage unit that can provide clean water for 75 to 100 people per day. It can filter contaminated water at a rate of 12 liters per hour and can clean as much as 100,000 liters before the filter itself needs to be replaced. Simply pour contaminated water into the top and get filtered water out of the spigot at the bottom.

While LifeStraw is well on its way to reaching its goals with the Follow the Liters program, it isn’t resting on its laurels. The company continues to deliver clean drinking water to developing regions and it has conducted more than 4,600 follow-up visits to those areas to ensure that the purification systems are still in place and working properly.

If you want to help contribute to the cause, you can do so by purchasing a LifeStraw product or donating directly to the Follow the Liters program.


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