Waterless bathing

 


Clean water and sanitation are still very prominent problems, especially in third world countries. As Sherrie Wight wrote in her Clean Water program last year, there are currently quite a few Rotary water projects targeting short-term, interim and sustainable solutions of these dire issues. In 2010, even the UN General Assembly declared access to clean water to be a human right.Introduction

Not having clean water poses an issue from not only a drinkable perspective, but also from a sanitation perspective. For example, one of the diseases flourishing in non sanitized environments is trachoma.

 

About Trachoma


Early stages of infection

Trachoma, also called granular conjunctivitis or Egyptian ophthalmia, is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium which roughens the inner surface of the eyelids. Left untreated, repeated trachoma infections result in entropion, a painful form of permanent blindness. This is the leading cause of infectious blindness in the world with about 40 million people in the world having an active infection and as many as 8 million people who are now visually impaired as a result of this disease. Unfortunately, children are the most susceptible to infection due to their tendency to easily get dirty.

How can this horrible infection be prevented? There is an antibiotic therapy, but it needs to be administered annually for at least three years and it is expensive. Luckily, there is also another solution. It is simply through keeping your face and therefore your eyes clean. What do you do when you can't wash your face with clean water every day, though? Nothing much...

 

Ludwick Marishane


Ludwick showcasing his invention

Here is where this one South African college student comes in. Starting from a desire to bathe less often, he invented DryBath, a clear gel applied to the skin that yields the same result as soap and water. It is an odorless gel which when applied to the skin, creates a biodegradable cleansing film with moisturizers for the skin. It has a shelf life of two years and it is as safe to use as a bar of soap. Impressive?

He actually invented this product at the age of 17, he's South Africa's youngest patent-filer, he was rated the best student entrepreneur in the world and Google even named him as one of the 12 brightest young minds in the world.

 

Please watch the following video explaining what triggered his invention and its outcome:

Ludwick Marishane: A bath without water: 5:14 min

 

Even though this gel is not meant to be a permanent alternative to bathing, as you can realize, for people without clean water or with scarce clean water sources, this product would provide that life changing alternative to personal hygiene.

FYI, his organization even started a matching grant, meaning for every sachet that is purchased, an equal amount will go to charity.

 

No-bathing weekend

Every year, on the 2nd weekend of July, the "no-bathing weekend" is celebrated. For two days, people celebrating it pledge not to bathe themselves, saving an average of 160 liters of clean water per person and bringing awareness to the billions of people who don't have water to bathe when their health and life might depend on it.

Will you pledge? Remember, when you skip a bath, you might be saving ~80 liters of clean water. If you do, a weekend day is recommended as you might not interact with as many people. :)

 

Here's a video on this pledge and more about the gel product.

No bathing weekend: 5:17 min

 
 
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