A United States High School has donated water cleaning kits to residents of Nyatike Sub-County in Migori in an effort to fight water-borne diseases in the region. Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, through its Interact Rotary Club distributed over 1000 Water Pasteurisation Indicators (WAPI) kits to Bande villagers who are seriously exposed to water bone disease every year due to lack of clean water. Speaking at Bande Anglican Church Sunday, President of the Suna Migori Rotary Club, Mr. Ojwando Bobo, said the kits will help fight opportunistic diseases such as Diarrhea, cholera and amoeba that had become common in the area because of consuming contaminated water. In collaboration with the interact members of the Daniel Pearl Magnet High school based in America, we have been able to acquire more than 1000 WAPI kits that will assist our people here clean their water before drinking to avoid contracting diseases related to water use, he told KNA after the distribution of the kits. He said the kits work 100 per cent if correctly used and instructions followed by the people to the letter. WAPI is a simple, low cost device containing a special soy wax that helps users to determine when water has reached pasteurization. The process requires that the user pours water into a pot or deep pan that can be used with open flame heat (including heat from sun). WAPI washer, made of a thin cylindrical clear glass with wax stashed inside it is then placed inside the pot, hanging from string hooked at the end of the pan. The pot or the pan can be set on the fire or placed outside under the sun. When the WAPI wax melts and falls to the bottom of the WAPI glass, the water is already pasteurized and ready for use. Mr. Bobo explained that one kit can be used repeatedly for years to clean drinking water for family members and the users are advised to keep the pot or water tank tightly sealed after the pasteurization process is over to keep the water safe from re-contamination. According to the Daniel Pearl Magnet High School Interact Club members who assembled the kits, disease- causing organisms in water and milk are killed by exposure to heat in a process known as pasteurization. However contaminated water and milk can be pasteurized at temperatures well below boiling point. With good sun, it has been proved that one can pasteurize water for a family at a rate of about one liter per hour, the interacts explained in a manual accompanying the kits. The kits can save time and fuel. Water heated to 65 degree C for a short period of time is free from microbes, including E coli, Rotaviruses; Guardia and Hepatitis A virus. At 71 degree C milk and food are pasteurized. Water related diseases are responsible to 80 percent of all illnesses and deaths in developing world. An estimated 1.5 billion cases of diarrheal cases occur each year, resulting in deaths of nearly 2 million children. Worldwide, about 1.3 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water , including nearly half of the population of Sub-Sahara Africa. In Kenya, access to clean water is the worst problem afflicting most people, with Nyatike a semi-arid region being a den of maladies arising from contaminated water.
Source: Kenya News Agency