Hydration Technology Innovations conducted a water research project in Mudimbia, Kenya to challenge conventional wisdom regarding the delivery of bottled water in the event of a disaster. The plan of the pilot project is to prove the effectiveness of the HTI HydroPack as a superior alternative to the shipment and delivery of bottled water during the initial phase of a disaster relief scenario.
The initial default solution to many disaster relief situations is to fly in bottled water provisions. This proves to be logistically difficult as bulk or bottled water solutions comprise up to 50% of the weight of relief supplies airlifted into a disaster zone. HTI’s HydroPack is a single use water filtration pouch that is light, compact, easy to use and can provide a clean drink from nearly any water source. Additionally, the drink that is produced has nutrients and calories essential to health and hydration during a water emergency. One helicopter of HydroPacks can deliver the same clean water as 15 helicopters of bottled water, and requires little to no training to use.
In addition to the research that will examine and prove the effectiveness of the HTI HydroPack, there was a parallel research project taking place at the same time. An industrial design firm, Modern Edge, was researching the effectiveness of the new HydroPack packaging that they had designed. The goal is to create packaging with clear instructions on product use that will bypass all language issues, whether that might be the language spoken or literacy itself.
The Kenyan Water for Health Organization (KWAHO), an indigenous local NGO and independent entity, administered the 10 day pilot project that started January 18th. In addition to KWAHO, HTI is working with Eastman Chemical Company, producer of the cellulose acetate material used in the membrane of the HydroPack. Mudimbia, a flood prone village, consists of 90 households and each participating family was provided enough HydroPacks to produce water for 10 days. The families were asked to report on their general health, ease of use and the taste of the filtered water. The project was also observed by the Red Cross, UNICEF and the Kenyan Government. The final results are still being compiled, but the assessment of the logistics benefits, training burden, compliance/acceptance issues and purity levels of the HTI HydroPack have been extremely positive. The final results of this project will be shared with governments, NGO’s and disaster relief organizations all over the world to promote the use of HydroPacks in the initial phase of a disaster relief operation. Please read the Kenya Project Blog to review a day by day account from the pilot project.