Vestergaard To Reach 125,000 Kenyan Children with "Follow the Liters" Program

Vestergaard To Reach 125,000 Kenyan Children with "Follow the Liters" Program

by RP Siegel

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Follow the Liters program to give 125,000 children in #Kenya access to safe drinking water via @Justmeans
Monday, October 13, 2014 - 8:00am



Western Kenya is a huge agricultural region, with equatorial temperatures and ample rain. Sugar and tea are both grown commercially, along with corn, sorghum and millet. Many fruits and vegetables are also grown in market stalls along the roadside and in town. The two rainy seasons are a boon to farmers, to be sure, but they come with a price. This area has the highest incidence of malaria in Kenya with over 30% of child under 5 testing positive.

That's what first attracted Vestergaard Frandsen, the world's largest supplier of permanently treated bed nets to the region. Once here, they discovered an alarmingly high incidence of waterborne diseases as well. Working in concert with the Carter Center, they used their their textile processing knowledge to developed a cloth filter in 1994, followed by the LifeStraw Guinea Worm pipe filter in 1999, which has helped to nearly eradicate dracunculiasis, or Guinea Worm disease in Africa. Building on this success, they developed the LifeStraw personal filter in 2005. This revolutionary device could be used like a drinking straw to allow safe drinking directly from biologically contaminated rivers and streams. The technology received the Saatchi and Saatchi Award for "World Changing Ideas." Going further, they found a way to give away nearly 880,000 of these to households. That's enough to serve 4.5 million people in western Kenya at no charge to them.

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Image Credit: RP Siegel

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. You can follow RP on Twitter, @RPSiegel.