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MIT engineer works toward clean water, more

ncluded university-educated people and illiterate peasant farmers. We have identified a common need-safe, clean drinking water for all-and we have worked together successfully for seven years so far."

Any system to provide clean water should consider factors such as sustainability, green engineering and World Health Organization guidelines. In addition, the system must meet the requirements of the local women who typically haul and store water, as well as being affordable to people earning one dollar a day. The same general principles also apply to other co-evolutionary design projects.

Murcott is currently focusing her energies in the northern region of Ghana, thanks to a two-year grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Here, a social enterprise-"Pure Home Water," initiated by Murcott with Ghanian partners-is marketing ceramic water filters in one of the poorest regions of Ghana, where cholera, typhoid, guinea worm and other waterborne diseases are rampant. Two Ghanaian social entrepreneurs, together with MIT engineering and Sloan School of Management students, hope to spread ceramic filters to reach more than a million people in northern Ghana in the coming years.

Murcott is also leading MIT teams to Nicaragua, Haiti, Peru and Kenya to address water and sanitation issues in those countries.

She concludes, "We hope to increase awareness of health and safe water issues among the least educated people in remote areas of Nepal and Ghana, subsidize filters for the very poorest people, insure that locally made units are built correctly, and make sure that future teams will effectively and passionately carry the work forward.

"We are confident that this work provides a model of engaged, cross-cultural cooperation that builds self-reliant solutions, at the same time providing a renewed understanding that security for most people in the world relates not to armed conflict but to 'common good' social, environmental and
'"/>

Contact: Elizabeth Thomson
thomson@mit.edu
617-258-5402
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
5-Mar-2007


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