Dispensers for Safe Water

The Problem: Unsafe Drinking Water and Disease

More than 780 million people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water.

More than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. Unsafe drinking water is also a leading cause of diarrheal disease with nearly two billion cases each year globally.

An estimated 760,000 children under the age of five die from diarrhea each year, making childhood diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation one of the leading causes of childhood mortality. 

The Solution: Dispensers for Safe Water

Dispensers for Safe Water are a proven, innovative, and low-cost approach to increase rates of household chlorination.  

Chlorine disinfects drinking water against most bacteria including those causing cholera while protecting water from recontamination. Chlorinating water also means that people do not need to boil their water to disinfect it, saving time and natural resources.

The dispenser is installed with community input directly at the water source. It is fitted with a valve that consistently delivers a precise 3 ml dose of chlorine (sodium hypochlorite solution).  Community members go to their water source, place their bucket or jerrican under the dispenser, turn the valve to dispense the correct amount of chlorine, and then fill the bucket with water.

Dispensers for Safe Water at a Glance 

  • Currently serves  more than 4.1 million people. 
  • Aims to reach 25 million by 2018.
  • Active in Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda.
  • Includes a sustainable water service: Dispenser hardware, community education, and a regular supply of chlorine.
  • Ongoing maintenance is provided by an elected community ‘promoter’ who encourages use of the dispenser, reports any problems, and refills the dispenser with chlorine.
  • Usage and functionality of all dispensers is closely monitored by Evidence Action field workers who deliver chlorine on motor bikes, and track issues with mobile phones.