Drinking water for all with just a pinch of salt
The Geneva-based Antenna Technologies Foundation, created by Denis von der Weid, is developing technological solutions adapted to provide for those most in need.
“Half of the world’s population does not have access to basic necessities,” says Von der Weid.
“And yet scientific research is not interested in this. In 1989, I therefore decided to create Antenna Technologies, with the objective of distributing types of technology focused on providing for the world’s most vulnerable communities.”
Twenty-five years later, the foundation now sends its solutions to all four corners of the planet. As a good example of this, their Wata systems are used to purify large quantities of water with only a pinch of salt and an electrolysis process that transforms salt water into chlorine.
However, the company has its work cut out for it. According to figures released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), 663 million people in the world did not have access to clean, safe water last year, with the majority of these people residing in sub-Saharan Africa (319 million) and south Asia (134 million).
By improving the quality of drinking water, sanitation and basic hygiene in these regions, the WHO has estimated that about 842 000 deaths from diarrhoeal diseases could be avoided each year.
With 2 000 Wata devices having been sold throughout the world, the Antenna Foundation estimates that 15 million people have so far been given access to 4 litres of purified water a day.
“And we could do the same for 50 million people, if we had further resources,” he says.
– Bertrand Beauté, Geneva Tribune, Switzerland
City Press is the South African partner of Impact Journalism Day, a global initiative that collects solutions-based stories from around the world. See page 15
FLOW Community members fill buckets from a communal tap, at times travelling 1km to fetch water. A Swiss company has a high-tech solution to the problem