When conflict or environmental disasters force people to flee their homes, access to safe water is critical for survival.
Last year, LifeStraw responded to natural and humanitarian disasters, delivering access to safe water for 508,165 people in 23 countries. The Responsibility Report also details LifeStraw’s work as a registered B Corp and Climate Neutral-certified company, its long-term collaboration with the Carter Center in the effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease, and its milestone of reaching over 6 million kids with a year of safe water through the brand’s Give Back program.
This life-saving work continues. Last week, LifeStraw shipped its newest water purification system, the LifeStraw Max, to the front lines of Ukraine to deliver access to clean water to more than 6,000 people. The Max is a highly portable, highly effective water purifier that removes nearly all viruses, bacteria, parasites, and microplastics while greatly reducing lead and chlorine from drinking water. The company also is announcing the launch of LifeStraw Max for commercial availability through LifeStraw.com to meet the needs of emergency responders, as well as individuals and small communities seeking to access the technology.
According to the European Union, more than 1.7 million people, the vast majority of whom are women and children, have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion. They estimate that up to 4 million may try to leave in the coming weeks and months. “Water is essential for life – and where there’s conflict or ecological disaster, access to safe water is a challenge. LifeStraw believes everyone deserves safe refuge and safe water,” said, LifeStraw CEO, Alison Hill. “We are actively working with colleagues, partners, and distributors in Europe to monitor and respond to the growing refugee crisis, with safe water and other critical needs.”
The company has shipped donations of water filters to four separate grassroots organizations working in both Poland and Ukraine to cover more than 6,000 people with drinking-water needs. Products that have been donated respond to requests by local organizations and range from individual filters to larger-scale purifiers. LifeStraw is working with a number of other organizations to organize additional shipments.
Hill added: “We welcome you to join us and help get safe water to more people impacted by the war by donating to LifeStraw’s Safe Water Fund. One-hundred percent of donations go towards the cost of manufacturing the filters; LifeStraw does not profit from your donation.” For ongoing details about LifeStraw’s work in Ukraine, visit this blog, which will be updated as more information becomes available and more shipments go out.
This is not the first time LifeStraw has provided the Max purification system to areas experiencing a crisis. In Asia, LifeStraw has delivered Max units to typhoon responders in the Philippines and Malaysia. Backed by UNICEF and several NGOs, LifeStraw is also currently supporting disaster mitigation and preparedness and development in schools and hospitals in Myanmar. LifeStraw is also launching pilot projects in public schools and villages in India.
HISTORY OF HUMANITARIAN SUPPORT
LifeStraw’s 2021 Responsibility Report tracks the brand’s history of humanitarian support. Since 2014, LifeStraw’s Give Back program has provided more than 6 million kids with a year of safe water. With one purchase of any LifeStraw product, money goes to fund the distribution of a LifeStraw Community purifier to a school, as well as training, education, maintenance and spare parts. Year-round support is included. One LifeStraw Community purifier provides approximately 100 kids with safe water for an entire year. LifeStraw makes a five-year commitment to every school, renewing the commitment until schools themselves are able to provide safe water to all students.
More than 26 years ago, LifeStraw partnered with the Carter Center to eradicate Guinea worm disease through the design of a simple mesh filter that removes the parasite from drinking water. To date, LifeStraw has provided more than 39 million Guinea worm filters to the Carter Center, leading to the near eradication of Guinea worm disease today. (In 2021, only 14 cases were reported in four countries.)
LifeStraw also announced its third year as a Climate Neutral-certified brand and has pledged to be Climate Positive by 2030. In 2021, LifeStraw saved 400,000 litres of water through recycling at its lab in Vietnam; 129 million plastic water bottles were offset by the purchase of LifeStraw bottle, pitcher and dispenser products; and 1,600 kilograms of used LifeStraw products in Kenya were upcycled to make handwashing stations.
MAXIMUM WATER PURIFICATION
LifeStraw has been developing the Max for several years to meet the needs of low-resource communities with unsafe piped water. The LifeStraw Max water purification device delivers portable, potable water during ecological and humanitarian disasters or for communities without access to potable tap water. It instantly purifies source water at a rate of up to 150 litres per hour without the need for electricity, battery power or chemicals. The LifeStraw Max removes viruses, bacteria, parasites and microplastics, and includes an advanced carbon filter that reduces lead and chlorine.
The purification system can be continuously filled by a pressurized water system (tap, water pump or gravity system) for safe drinking water for up to 1,000 people for several months without needing to replace the main filters. It’s durable and compact, with an easy-to-carry design for rugged and remote locations. As with every other LifeStraw product, each purchase makes an impact: one product, one child, one year of safe water. The LifeStraw Max is available for purchase at LifeStraw.com. For bulk purchasing for larger-scale relief efforts, please contact [email protected].