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PedalPure: turning livelihoods into water solutions in Bangladesh

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Rebecca Heald

In an innovative new scheme in Dhaka, Bangladesh is turning pedal power into clean water for rickshaw pullers and their families. Watch the film to find out how. 

In Bangladesh about 2.25 million people live in slum areas in extreme poverty, half of them in the capital, Dhaka. Most of the city’s 600,000 rickshaw pullers live in its slums. Many of them earn less than £4 per day, and support six to eight family members.

Every year thousands of children living in the slum communities die of diarrhoeal diseases caused by a lack of safe water. The pullers risk their health and livelihoods drinking unsafe water from street vendors during work.

PedalPure, a joint endeavour by GREY and WaterAid Bangladesh, is a pedal-powered water filter, which is turning livelihoods into a solution for rickshaw pullers and their families.

Watch the video to find out how PedalPure is changing lives.


Key facts:

  • The pump does not use electricity, but kinetic pedal power.  
  • Water passes through a fibre membrane system in a process known as ultra-filtration (UF), which removes particles larger than 0.01 microns. UF membranes remove impurities such as bacteria, suspended solids, and colour, as per Bangladesh Drinking Water Quality Standards. 
  • PedalPure is almost maintenance free. 
  • The pump will save pullers time by enabling them to drink while they pedal. 
  • Unsafe drinking water from street vendors costs about 1–2p per 250ml glass. 1000L of safe water from PedalPure costs about £1. Rickshaw pullers can also sell the purified water. 
  • Each mile of pedalling with Pedalpure will provide 1L of safe drinking water. Pullers travel an average of 25 miles a day.

For more information, contact Abdullah Al-Muyeed, WASH Technical Adviser at WaterAid Bangladesh: Abdullahal-Muyeed@wateraid.org / @aamuyeed

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