Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

ICT and Global Health:Text Messaging for Safe Water

5170_largearticlephoto1.jpgThis story was found on a fantastic website: WorldChanging –“Cell phone ring tones are now music to the ears of the 35 million Bangladeshis at risk for numerous cancers and debilitating impairments from groundwater tainted with arsenic… colleagues at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University are working to reduce the exposure to arsenic through their development of an SMS… A pilot project incorporated data from 300,000 wells into the Welltracker database, which reports for each village the number of wells tested, the proportion of unsafe wells and, when available, the start depth together with an estimate of the probability that the estimate is correct. The information is well laid out along with video at WorldChanging, check it out.

From the Columbia University website:
Welltracker helps people in rural Bangladesh avoid arsenic poisoning occurring naturally in about 50% of private tube wells. Despite warnings from the government, many villagers cannot afford to dig tube wells deeper than 40ft. They continue to install shallow tube wells at a fast pace…Welltracker makes safe tube wells more affordable. Instead of the typical 800ft depth of a deep tube well, we use mathematics and statistics to find shallower safe depths. We encourage communities to invest in deep tube wells together. Our intention is to help set up an independent organization that provides loans and secures well investment with a money-back arsenic-free guarantee.”

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Written by thd

October 31, 2006 at 5:58 pm

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