Each year, 3.4 million people die of waterborne diseases such as Cholera, E coli, and Typhoid. Yet most don’t even realize just how dangerous poor drinking water can be.
The book’s high-tech filtration paper, invented by chemist Dr. Theresa Dankovich, is the heart of the solution. Coated with silver nanoparticles (which give the paper that orange, earthy color), the pages of this special paper are filled tips on water safety, sanitation and hygiene aimed at educating water-deprived communities all around the world.
“We are working on developing the books in a variety of languages and a variety of teaching methods,” says Kristine Bender, Water is Life president. “We’re sharing our message through training, storytelling and discussions in communities worldwide.” So far, the organization has focused on education materials in Swahili, Dagbani, Spanish, English, Kreole among others.
A book is the perfect medium for tackling the global water crisis, according to Bender. “The paper can be created in many forms and potential designs” she says, “but the value and emotion that the gift of a book stirs – is priceless.”
Each book costs only a couple of dollars to produce, and can provide up to four years of safe drinking water for a water-deprived community. Water is Life will begin distributing the books in early 2015 to India, Haiti, Kenya and Ghana.