Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Safe Drinking Water For Flood Victims: Some Practical Methods For Communities.

It is increasingly identified that in order to mitigate the mortality due to contaminated drinking water needs of flood affected communities especially vulnerable populations of women and children, there is need to offer and train communities in safe, easy, cheap methods of improving drinking water quality. Some methods are as follows:
Boiling: After passing the water through some clean muslin cloth, boil it for at least 10 minutes. Cool and resieve if needed.
Disinfection: This method is more suitable in the present circumstances as fuel for boiling is in short supply and many areas the cooking arrangement maybe deficient. Use household bleach. Liquid containing a 5.2% solution of sodium hypochlorite is safe and effective.
Method: Place water in a clean container. 4 drops for one litre (litre water bottle for measurement or litre Pepsi bottle can be used). Mix thoroughly and leave to stand for 30 minutes. If water is cloudy or very cold leave for standing to 60 minutes. If water does not have a slight bleach odour after the standing time , repeat the bleach treatment and let water stand for another 15 minutes.
Bore Holes: In places where urgent water bore holes can be dug, a hand water or machine water pump can be installed.This is also relatively safer for drinking than surface water.

Solar Energy For Disinfection: Put water in transparent .plastic water bottles for at least 6 hours in sunlight. This is enough to disinfect for safe drinking. (WHO, UNICEF).
Source DFID document on flood mitigation. and Mr Akhtar Ali