More than a straw to grasp at
The original LifeStraw, which was created in 1996 by the company Vestergaard, was genius in simplicity by filtering Guinea worm larva from water. The award-winning LifeStraw water filter was named “One of Ten Things that Will Change the Way We Live” by Forbes magazine. Until today, more than 37 million Guinea Worm filters have contributed to the near-eradication of the Guinea Worm disease.
Inspired by the impact of the LifeStraw Guinea Worm filter, a product that could filter out virtually all the microbiological contaminants that make water unsafe to drink, was the next goal. The result was LifeStraw technology, introduced in 2005 as a personal “straw-like” filter that removes bacteria and protozoa.
Building on the success of the LifeStraw water filters in the consumer market of the northern hemisphere, Vestergaard created a CSR project called “Follow the liters”. For every LifeStraw product sold, the company provides one child with safe water at school for a year in a developing country.
In February 2018, the fourth annual LifeStraw Follow the Liters program will deliver high volume LifeStraw Community water purifiers to schools in rural Kenya, to provide ongoing access to safe drinking water for their students. Each filter will last 3-5 years and serve 75-100 school children, who will also receive hygiene and sanitation education at the time of installation and during follow-up visits.
Since the beginning of the program in 2014, every year the number of students who received safe water was expanded and will reach the 1 millionth student this coming February.