Goal 6: clean water and sanitation

Publish date 07-11-2021

by Valentina Turinetto

The sixth goal of the 2030 Agenda underlines that drinking water and basic sanitation are a fundamental human right. Among the goals that the Agenda aims to achieve are access to drinking water and sanitation. sanitation, improvement of water quality, reduction of water pollution and the guarantee of sustainable supplies and supplies of drinking water.

While it is true that in recent decades there has been significant progress in terms of people who have access to sources of drinking water, the data presented by the UN highlights important needs that require targeted interventions: almost 2 billion of people use contaminated sources of drinking water; over 2 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation such as toilets or latrines; every day, about a thousand children die from preventable diarrheal diseases related to water and hygiene.

The search for solutions that can help everyone live better has always been at the heart of Sermig; Giorgio Ceragioli, professor at the Faculty of Architecture in Turin, was a fundamental teacher: his reflections led to seek solutions to favor development, encouraging the encounter between new and old technologies, new solutions using computers and bicycles. Over the years, the Re.Te. (Technological Restitution) has devised projects to ensure the use of clean water and encourage the collection of water in various poor areas of the world. A first example concerns a water purification system: thanks to a reverse osmosis system it is possible to purify the water from heavy metals, which are harmful to human health; in a school in Bangladesh, every day children will be able to receive a bottle of water purified from arsenic, which is present in large quantities in that region. A group of young people is studying the possibility of condensing the water present in the air, using a modified dehumidifier, working with solar panels; the goal is to provide a source of water in those countries characterized by severe drought, such as Jordan. In Guinea Bissau, solar pumps are being studied, without batteries, which allow the collection of water in large tanks, always thinking of simple, low-cost and remotely controllable systems. Finally, to have a sodium hypochlorite solution available, a chlorinator was created: starting from water and table salt and using photovoltaic energy, the production of low-cost sodium hypochlorite was developed, with a simple and space-saving system; 150 chlorinators were distributed in Cameroon, Tanzania, Congo, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Nepal. Sodium hypochlorite at various dilutions is a fundamental system for water purification, disinfection of surfaces or washing of fruit and vegetables, preventing very frequent diseases in developing countries, such as diarrhea. In addition to good daily habits, essential for preserving the precious blue gold, we can always think of putting our knowledge and skills into the field and creatively making a contribution of good and development, where it is most needed!

Valentina Turinetto
NP June / July 2021

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