What if every person, however poor, had an effective, portable water filtration device they could use in emergencies -- or for that matter, whenever they need a clean liter of water? Cholera and other water-borne diseases, parasites, and all the associated health problems that come from these would be drastically reduced. Millions of lives could be saved.
Before long that vision may be reality. Here's a story about a new low-cost technology developed by scientists at the University of Stellenbosch's Water Institute. The devices provides safe drinking water through a special "teabag" that costs under one cent per unit. From the story:
"The biodegradable teabag is filled with active carbon granules, while the sachet -- made of nano-fibres -- is coated on the inside with biocides that kill pathogens. . . The simple technology allows for the teabag to be placed in a canister designed to fit the neck of most bottles, and after filtering one litre of contaminated water the teabag is discarded."
Here's a related story with a bit more detail. I'm almost (but only almost) speechless: what an amazing development!