A letter about SODIS from Neema Achieng

16th of July 2013
Neema Achieng

Neema Achieng is a pupil at the Ring-Road-Primary School in Kenya. Her school is one of 30 schools in Kenya and of 146 schools worldwide participating in the Safe Water School Project. In her letter she describes her experiences with the project and with the SODIS method in particular.

To the letter >>



Governmental project in Cameroon

11th of June 2013
Manual Kamerun

Our partnerorganisation Aquacare developed an educational manual on household water treatment and hygiene on behalf of the Ministry of Health in Cameroon. The manual is aimed at the rural population and contains information about the locally available methods such as SODIS, boiling and chlorine tablets. With financial support from UNICEF, the government hired Aquacare to conduct educational programs on HWTS and hygiene in the northern part of the country. More of these training programs are planned for this year.


A SODIS project becomes independent

12th March 2013

Together with Water School Uganda, we introduced the SODIS method in Kisoro, a district in the south-west of Uganda. Capitalizing on the close working relationships with local institutions established during the project, we now handed over the promotion work to local health centers, schools and health promoters. They will ensure that preparing safe drinking water with the SODIS method remains a part of daily life in Kisoro. The 8 to 9 AM radio show informing people about the SODIS method and adequate hygiene practices will be continued on a daily basis as an important activity.


Advocacy for HWTS in India

11th February 2013
Workshop New Delhi 2012

Development Alternatives, our partner in New Delhi, organized a one-day workshop under the theme ‘Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS)’. The goal of the workshop was to jointly develop strategies and concrete action steps for the country-wide dissemination of household water treatment. Development Alternatives presented a draft strategy document. The 40 participants from different institutions expressed their support of this initiative and decided to advance it together as a network.


SODIS now also in Paraguay

14th January 2013

In 2012, our partner organization for the dissemination of SODIS in Latin America, the Fundación SODIS in Bolivia, was invited by UNICEF to implement a pilot project in Paraguay. The project is part of a larger UNICEF program with the overall objective to strengthen local institutions in Chaco, a very dry region at the border between Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia. The project mainly targets schools, but also local authorities and health care workers. The goal is to reduce diarrhea-related diseases among 200 Indígenas-families in the municipality of Boquerón. Besides a training on the SODIS method, people also learn about other methods to prevent diarrhea, such as proper hand washing and improving hygiene conditions in schools. This project is our first field experience with SODIS in Paraguay.


Innovation prize for the SODIS-bag project

20th of December 2012

Researchers from Eawag and from the University of Cadiz (Spain) were awarded the first prize of the innovation challenge organized by the 3M Foundation. For the past 14 years, the Foundation has been awarding a prize entitled “Innovation for the improvement of people’s lives”; and this year the call for proposals was focused on innovative projects in the field of water. The winning project aims at developing a cost-effective bag which will allow to apply the SODIS method in locations in which no PET-bottles are available. Researchers tested different materials and shapes for such a bag in the laboratory and then conducted field tests in Haiti with a prototype. The results showed that water disinfection with such bags is very efficient and that the bag is well-accepted by users. The 14.000 EUR prize money will flow directly into the further development of the SODIS bag. The awards ceremony took place in Madrid on 11.12.2012.



Great honour for «Mister Sodis» Martin Wegelin

25th of October 2012
Martin Wegelin

The Dr.J.E.Brandenberger Foundation Prize will be awarded for the twenty third time already and this year the prize goes to the former Eawag scientist Martin Wegelin. Wegelin who has done his research until 2007 for more than 25 years at Eawag is awarded with the 200’000 Swiss Francs worth honour for his special commitment to the solar water disinfection method Sodis. «Due to his power, curiosity and persistency today Sodis is substituted from several organisations and more and more people are involved in the successful project», says the president of the foundation, the former councillor of states Carlo Schmid in the media release. Today Sodis is used worldwide in 28 countries from over 5 million people. Eawag has scientifically proved that the method is safe, how the UV-radiation of the sun kills diarrhoea generating pathogens and which paths of dissemination in developing countries are the most appropriates. The awards ceremony will take place at November 24th in Chur. Find more information about the foundation and Dr. J.E. Brandenberger, the inventor of the transparent viscose film «Cellophane» on their website.


SODIS theater competition

23rd of October 2012
School Competition Uganda

An important pillar of the SODIS promotion project in Uganda is the collaboration with schools. In the classes, the children learn about the importance of hygiene and how to treat their drinking water not only in class lectures and practical work, but also through theatres, poems, songs and role-plays. In past projects we have seen many great pieces produced by children. Thus we thought of a school competition, where children can perform their theatres and songs to a broader public. Beginning of October, the 5 finalists out of 15 schools that participated met for the event. They came with colorful costumes, music instruments and a lot of energy. Their great performances made it difficult for the jury. Kinanira primary school proudly received the first price for their theatre.


Famous SODIS ambassador in Zambia

10th of September 2012
SODIS Zambia

Dalisoul is one of the most famous musicians of Zambia. Through his songs he sensitises young people to improve their quality of life and also addresses unpopular topics. His song "Nalila - or the condom song " is one of the most popular titles in Zambia. Dalisoul is now committed to SODIS. On our poster, he encourages families to treat their drinking water with SODIS. The aim of the campaign is to reach young people and, thus, spread the method to this important segment of the population.



24th of July 2012
Expo South Corea

The Swiss pavilion at the EXPO in Yeosu (South Korea) invited us for a week to present the SODIS method. Using information panels and a SODIS demonstration table, we familiarised the visitors with the method and highlighted the problems related to poor drinking water quality in many developing and emerging countries. The initiative met with great interest. Every day, nearly 2 000 people participated in our guided tours. Apparently, the SODIS method is still largely unknown in South Korea. This is why the visitors were especially curious to learn how the method works and under what conditions it can be used. Among the guests was also Philippe Cousteau, renowned Ambassador for the Environment and a special Correspondent for CNN International. After his visit to the Swiss pavilion, he noted in the guestbook: "SODIS is a wonderful gift to the world."

At the end of the special promotion, the exhibition will go to a local primary school in Yeosu, so that future generations of students also learn how to turn contaminated water into potable water using only sunlight and plastic bottles.


SODIS Newsletter 1/2012

27th of June 2012

The SODIS newsletter informs about our projects, activities and important events in connection with SODIS. The newsletter is disseminated semi-annually in German and in English. To receive the newsletter by email, please subscribe to our Mailing-List.

SODIS Newsletter 1/2012 [pdf]


Partnership between Helvetas and SODIS

24th of May 2012

To further promote the SODIS method and other drinking water treatment technologies at household level, SODIS has established a formal partnership with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation in November 2011. The partnership combines the research competence of Eawag and SODIS’s knowledge in the implementation of drinking water projects with the wide experience of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation in development cooperation. With the resulting synergies, additional people, who still drink unsafe water, will gain access to clean drinking water. Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation will integrate the SODIS method in its drinking water projects. Eawag will support this work with research, technical assistance and international advocacy activities.


The efforts to develop a SODIS bag continue

12th of April 2012

As we previously reported, a pilot version of the SODIS bag has been tested in Bolivia, DR Congo, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Kenya. Based on these experiences an improved version was developed and produced with the purpose of facilitating future interventions in disaster situations. In April we started a pilot project with local partner organizations in Haiti where the SODIS bag will be used and evaluated. During two months, 200 families will daily use the product and test its handling, durability and user-friendliness.


Water Prize Award to the Fundación SODIS

22nd of March 2012
UN Award 2012

The United Nations Water Coordination Office (UN Water) awards every year a prize for outstanding projects in the field of water management and public relations ("Water for Life Award"). This year, the first prize in the category "best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices" was awarded to a project of the Fundación SODIS in Bolivia. The award ceremony took place on 22 March in Rome on the occasion of the World Water Day. We congratulate the Fundación SODIS for its outstanding achievements.

The award-winning project focused on working with women's groups within the context of a sustainable development objective. The Fundación SODIS trained these groups in several topics, including hygiene, equal opportunities and SODIS. The women's groups then identified jointly with the local population the most pressing problems and elaborated a concrete action plan on how to address these problems. The project also supported the women's groups financially in order to implement parts of this Action Plan that met great success: In the course of the project, the number of people treating their drinking water (with the SODIS method, chlorine or boiling) and washing their hands increased from 36 % to 89 %. The project was implemented in 70 communities, reaching more than 13 000 people in the department of Cochabamba.

The Fundación SODIS is an independent non-profit organisation based in Bolivia. It was founded in 2001 by Eawag and SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) staff and focuses on research, development and promotion of simple solutions in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene in Latin America.

Further information:
SODIS Promotion in Latin America >>
Fundación SODIS >>
Water Prize of the United Nations >>
UN Water >>


School project launched in Bolivia and Kenya

14th of February 2012
School in Bolivia

School children from 40 Bolivian and 30 Kenyan schools are being trained in the project "Safe Water School". Nine lessons of the specifically developed manual familiarise the pupils with the topics of water and sanitation: They learn how to treat their own water, to protect the treated water from recontamination, to wash their hands well, and to use the toilet correctly. Each of these measures reduces the risk of contracting diarrhoea, an important factor for the development of children.

Aside from water treatment with the SODIS method, we also teach the schools how to produce their own chlorine to disinfect their water. Our project is conducted in close collaboration with Antenna Technologies Foundation, which has been successfully active for several years in schools. Around 50 000 school children will be trained in “Safe Water Schools” by the end of this year.

More Information: Safe Water Schools >>


Improved physical development

20th of December 2011
School in Kenya

The prestigious Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, which has been investigating the SODIS method for many years, has recently presented its latest results. Scientists examined the impact of SODIS training courses on the health of Kenyan children aged between 6 months and 5 years. They also considered for the first time the growth of children. The study revealed that children consuming exclusively SODIS-treated drinking water were not only less affected by diarrhoea, but also physically more developed than children of a control group who drank untreated water. The results obtained confirm the long-term positive impact of SODIS projects on children’s health.

SODIS - Scientific publications >>

Article - Randomized Intervention Study of Solar Disinfection of Drinking Water in the Prevention of Dysentery in Kenyan Children Aged under 5 Years >>



Protection against diarrhea after environmental disaster in Nicaragua

1st of November 2011

More than 150 000 people along the Atlantic coast have been trained in the last two years in water treatment and improved hygiene. Even after the frequent tropical cyclones in this region, the inhabitants were able to protect themselves from diarrhoea and other diseases.



New project in the western part of Nepal

21st of September 2011

In Nepal, a SODIS/Eawag and USAID-supported three-year project has recently been initiated in the Surkhet district. The aim of the project is to improve the sanitary and hygienic conditions in the project area and to promote different drinking water treatment methods.



Water kiosks for Kenya

6th of September 2011

In the Kibera slum in Nairobi, our local partner organization is setting up water kiosks for women groups. These will advise their neighbours on drinking water treatment and hygiene issues and sell them products for drinking water treatment and hygiene. In the slums of Nyalenda and Manyatta in West Kenya, the inhabitants are being trained in SODIS use and improved hygiene. There, the project focus mainly on training in schools.



Positive health impact in Ecuador

26th of July 2011

The annual statistics of Ecuador now clearly reveal the positive impacts of the SODIS project jointly implemented with the Ministry of Health: the levels of diarrhoea in the project areas are decreasing, whereas the country average reveals an annual increase since 2001. The Ministry is interested in continuing the activities.



Collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Senegal

12th of July 2011
Gesundheitsministerium Senegal

Thanks to the unrelenting advocacy work of our partner-NGO EVE, a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Ministry of Health last year. This further consolidated the collaboration with the Ministry of Health. After government-conducted water tests, which reconfirmed the efficiency of solar water disinfection, the Senegalese authorities now officially recommend the SODIS method. In the Tambacounda region, signing of the memorandum of understanding paved the way to a joint SODIS project with the Ministry of Health.


SODIS partner workshop in New Delhi

11th of April 2011
Workshop New Delhi

Partner organisations from SODIS project areas in Asia (Delhi, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Nepal, Laos, Vietnam) met in a workshop in New Delhi on 31 March to 2 April 2011. Focus of the meeting was the exchange of experience with the dissemination of low-cost drinking water treatment methods at household level (particularly SODIS) and improved hygiene practices. The participants developed jointly new strategies for integrated promotion of different technologies and institutionalisation of these approaches in government health and drinking water programmes.


Chilled SODIS water – a business idea of Madeleine Djike

28th of February 2011
Madeleien Djike

Mrs Djike lives with her family in the Song-Mahop slum in Cameroon. She has been selling chilled water to neighbours and travellers for many years. In 2008, a SODIS campaign was conducted in her neighbourhood. A promoter also visited her home and explained the use of the method. Mrs Djike hesitated at first. Considering the poor water quality in her slum, the method appeared to be too easy to work. After placing PET bottles on her roof and testing the method herself, she became an active user of SODIS method. Since then, her family is drinking clean water and suffers far less from diarrhoeal diseases.

After her positive experience with the method, she also decided to offer her customers chilled SODIS water. The good quality of her water got around quickly in the neighbourhood. Today, she proudly says: "With the SODIS method, I already treat more than 40 bottles of water every day, which I chill and sell the next day. Thanks to the good water quality, I have acquired many new customers". Since Mrs Djike also shows her customers how to use the SODIS method at home, she makes a significant contribution towards improving the living conditions in her neighbourhood.

Further information on the Cameroon project>>


Motivated families prevent with SODIS diarrhoeal diseases in infants

22nd of December 2010
Studie Südafrika

Several studies have repeatedly confirmed that SODIS-treated water can effectively prevent diarrhoeal diseases. In the study "Solar Disinfection of Drinking Water in the Prevention of Dysentery in South African Children Aged Under Five Years: The Role of Participant Motivation", Martella du Preez has now investigated the role played by motivated SODIS users. For the study, South African families with infants kept a diary for one year on diarrhoeal diseases. The frequency of entries into the diary allowed to assess the motivation of families in preventing diarrhoeal diseases. A total of 297 SODIS households were examined and compared with 267 households, which refrained from treating their water with SODIS. A 64% decrease in diarrhoeal diseases was observed among children of highly motivated families. The values hardly differed among less motivated families.

These results emphasize the importance of regular SODIS use and encourage us to also seek innovative solutions when developing training strategies.

Abstract “Solar Disinfection of Drinking Water in the Prevention of Dysentery in South African Children Aged under Five Years: The Role of Participant Motivation”


SODIS on Facebook

17th of August 2010
SODIS on Faceboook

Become a fan of SODIS! As a fan, you speak up for/stand up for/support the people in the South and remain informed about our work.

To the SODIS Fan Page >>


Midwives disseminate the SODIS method in Togo

28th of July 2010
Hebammen Togo

This month, we trained for the first time in Togo midwives and nurses in the use of the SODIS method. The women who come to them for childbirth or diseases are now taught how to treat their own drinking water.

The training was made possible thanks to a cooperation agreement of our local partner organisation and the government of Togo. Intensive discussions and persuasion work were necessary to achieve this goal. Over the next few months, we will train midwives and nurses in all our project districts. This will allow in the long term to locally entrench the knowledge on the SODIS method.

More about the project in Togo


Indian study confirms that PET bottles for SODIS use are safe

29th of June 2010

In India, already more than one quarter million people use the SODIS method to treat their drinking water. However, especially in India, reports on hazardous substances in PET bottles have caused uncertainty among users and prevent a rapid dissemination of the method. In particular the family of plasticisers has recently given rise to discussion. While no plasticisers are used in the manufacture of PET, traces of these substances have already been detected in mineral water from glass and PET bottles. In 2008, Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research examined the risks involved in the application of the SODIS method (Schmid et al 2008). A recent study by the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai with PET bottles from India now confirms the results of the Empa study: during the SODIS process, only very small plasticiser quantities are released in the water, and the WHO limiting values for drinking water are never exceeded. Therefore, the SODIS method does not constitute a health risk if applied correctly – the people in India can safely continue to drink their SODIS water.

Certificate from the Department of Civil Engineering, India [pdf]
Project Report, Department of Civil Engineering, India [pdf]


Only a plastic bottle?

25th of May 2010

Martin Wegelin tells why he was searching for a method to clean drinking water and how with PET-bottles and sunlight diarrhoeal diseases can be avoided.

Language: Swiss German with English subtitles


SODIS Newsletter 1/2010

3rd of May 2010

The SODIS newsletter informs about our projects, activities and important events in connection with SODIS. The newsletter is disseminated semi-annually in German and in English. To receive the newsletter by email, please subscribe to our Mailing-List.

SODIS Newsletter 1/2010 [pdf]


SODIS bags for humanitarian aid

23rd of March 2010
SODIS Beutel

So far, the SODIS method was hardly used in humanitarian missions. This was due to, inter alia, the lack of PET bottles in disaster areas. Yet, the SODIS method can be applied not only with PET and glass bottles, but also with clear plastic bags. The bags have the advantage that they can easily be transported and stored in large quantities. Hence, Eawag has launched a project to develop specific SODIS bags. Several bag models are being developed in collaboration with partners from the private sector. A prototype is currently being field tested together with local organisations in Bolivia, DR Congo, Kenya, Nepal, and Nicaragua. The information thus gained will help to improve the quality and user-friendliness of the bag, and to develop a product that can be used in future disaster situations.


How the SODIS method kills bacteria

22nd of February
Franziska Labor

Building upon earlier research at Eawag, Franziska Bosshard has gained further insight into the inactivation mechanisms of bacteria at cellular level during solar water disinfection (SODIS).

She confirmed earlier hypotheses that the formation of reactive oxygen species during UV-irradiation is responsible for the inactivation process. Membrane proteins involved in the energy generation of bacteria are the first targets of cell damage, followed by other protein damages and the aggregation of proteins. This process is very similar to the aging process of cells.

Bosshard, F., Berney, M., Scheifele, M., Weilenmann, H.-U., & Egli, T. (2009). Solar disinfection (SODIS) and subsequent dark storage of Salmonella typhimurium and Shigella flexneri monitored by flow cytometry. Microbiology, 155, 1310–1317.

Other scientific publications


SODIS in Haiti

21st of January 2010
Flyer Französisch

As many Organizations asked us for SODIS training material we developed a flyer for SODIS promotion in Haiti. The flyer can be distributed together with PET-bottles. Unmodified it can be printed and distributed without consulting us.

Flyer in French [pdf]
Flyer in Creole [pdf]
Flyer in English [pdf]
Flyer in Spanish [pdf]

Further SODIS education material is available here >>



New project in Angola

6th of January 2010
Projekt Angola

The 1st of January 2010 we started a new SODIS project in Angola. The project is located in the province Benguela and will reach in a first phase more than 6000 people. The project is implemented in collaboration with Joint Aid Management (JAM).

More about the project in Angola

Partner organisation



New scientific findings on SODIS training strategies

22nd of December 2009

Social scientists published a paper that investigates different ways to promote SODIS in Bolivia. The results suggest that household visits by professional promoters are the most successful strategy in terms of reaching people and changing their behavior toward the use of the SODIS method. Local opinion leaders — although less effective — show some potential to stimulate communication among people about SODIS. A one-time information during a health fair did not have a big impact on the application oft the SODIS method.

Tamas, A., Tobias, R., & Mosler, H.-J. (2009). Promotion of solar water disinfection: Comparing the effectiveness of different strategies in a longitudinal field study in Bolivia. Health Communication, 24(8), 711-722. [pdf]

Other scientific publications


SODIS Workshop in Kolkata

14th of December 2009
Workshop Kalkutta

An experience sharing workshop on SODIS took place in Kolkata, India, in November 2009. Project coordinators of SODIS promotion projects implemented in Assam, Delhi, Kolkata and Tamil Nadu gathered to exchange experiences and discuss options for scaling up the promotion of solar water disinfection in India. The workshop was hosted by Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC), University of Kolkata. The Assistant Director of the West Bengal State Department of Public Health & Communicable Diseases participated in the meeting and highlighted the urgent need for effective and affordable technologies for water treatment at the level of water user households, especially also in disaster situations. The workshop participants established an information exchange platform and agreed to coordinate their activities more closely in the future.

For further information please contact the Women’s Studies Research Center in India or Samuel Luzi, project manager Asia.


SODIS newsletter

23rd of September 2009

The SODIS newsletter informs about our projects, activities and important events in connection with SODIS. From 2009 on, the newsletter is disseminated semi-annually in German and in English. To receive the newsletter by email, please subscribe to our Mailing-List.
Suggestions and feedback are welcome (

SODIS Newsletter no. 2 - September 2009 [pdf]


The SODIS Advocacy campaign

5th of September 2009

We want all people who are suffering from contaminated drinking water to know how to treat their water. We can not reach this ambitious goal alone. Therefore we start this year our advocacy campaign to achieve the global establishment of the SODIS-method.

Our aim is that worldwide, decision-makers in the development corporation know the SODIS-method and include it in the programs of their organisations. This is possible through the specific informing of governments, NGOs and international Organisations, the sound trainings of project leaders and staff of public authorities (teachers, nurses, etc.) and the demonstration of pilot project.

With our campaign we want to achieve that the SODIS-method reaches faster those who need it most urgently.


Results of SODIS health impact study in Bolivia published

23 August 2009

A recent study [1] of Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) has attracted substantial media attention for its negative findings on the SODIS process, in which water is disinfected by placing it in PET bottles and exposing it to sunlight. The investigators reported that the incidence of diarrheal diseases was not significantly decreased in an intervention group as compared with a control group. The intervention group included both SODIS users and non-users and the reported rate of SODIS use was only 30%. The actual consumption of SODIS-treated water in the household may have been as low as 14%. The report concluded that further research including “a direct comparison of SODIS to alternate drinking water treatment methods [is] needed before further global promotion of SODIS.”

As researchers of the SODIS process and advocates of its use, we must challenge this conclusion. An estimated 3 million people in 30 countries are currently using SODIS to reduce their risk of water-borne disease. Numerous studies have reported health benefits of SODIS when it is correctly and consistently used. In one such study [2], the incidence of cholera during an epidemic in Kenya was 88% lower among SODIS than non-users.

A well-known weakness of the SODIS process is that it is often not used consistently or is used to treat only a fraction of the drinking water consumed. Beneficial health impacts associated with the use of SODIS may also be compromised by poor sanitation and hygiene. Nonetheless, we feel that people should not be discouraged from continuing to use SODIS or from adopting it unless an alternate supply of safe drinking water is available.

We strongly support continued studies of the effectiveness of SODIS and other methods to reduce the incidence of water-borne disease. We suggest, however, that recommendations based on such studies be tempered by the recognition that people who are using (or might adopt) SODIS have no alternative source of safe drinking water. In contrast to the recommendation of Mäusezahl and co-workers, we suggest that future education of SODIS users should focus on establishing the regular practice of the method and also on eliminating the consumption of any untreated and contaminated water.

Statement of Eawag

[1] Mäusezahl et al. (2009). Solar Drinking Water Disinfection (SODIS) to Reduce Childhood Diarrhoea in Rural Bolivia: A Cluster-Randomized, Controlled Trial. PLoS Med 6(8)
[2] Conroy et al. (2001). Solar disinfection of drinking water protects against cholera in children under 6 years of age. Arch Dis Child. Oct; 85(4):293-5
The new study is published in the newest edition of PLoS Medicine.


High-ranking visitors in SODIS project in Burkina Faso

16 - 20 February 2009
Burkina Faso

The SODIS project in Burkina Faso started in 2008 and is funded by the Lions Club Switzerland. Robert Rettby, Council Chairman of the Lions Switzerland, visited the project to see how their funds contribute to improve the living conditions of poor families. He was accompanied by Prof. Dr. Rik Eggen, Deputy Director of Eawag, who wished to learn more about water related problems in developing countries. Both visitors were highly impressed by the impact the project has on the life of the families. They appreciated the engagement of the local partner organisation, Helvetas and ICODEV, and supported the project during their visit in advocacy and scientific activities.

For more information please see the article of Mr. Rettby in the Revue LION (in French).


Regional Training Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya

18 - 21 January 2009
Workshop Kenia

Lobbying and advocacy for the SODIS-Method is an important aspect of all SODIS projects. Therefore 24 project managers and staff from 13 different countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) participated in a regional training workshop on advocacy and communication. The theoretical input and the sharing of lessons learnt in different projects allowed for an intense learning experience for all participants.


The new SODIS newsletter can now be downloaded

2 July 2008

The SODIS newsletter informs about our projects, activities and important events in connection with SODIS. From 2009 on, the newsletter is disseminated semi-annually in German and in English. To receive the newsletter by email, please subscribe to our Mailing-List.

Suggestions and feedback are welcome (

SODIS Newsletter no. 1 - July 2008


Proceeds of Carla Bruni's photograph for SODIS

10 April 2008

Carla Bruni’s photo by the star photographer Michel Comte was auctioned in New York on 10 April 2008. Gert Elfering promised the proceeds of USD 91’000 of this picture to SODIS.

On 10 April 2008 during one of the most important photo campaigns, Christie’s auctioned 135 photographs of Gert Elfering’s collection in New York. The photograph of Carla Bruni by the star photographer Michel Comte was taken for an anti-aids campaign in 2003.


Regional Training workshop in Yaoundé, Cameroon

2 - 4 April 2008
Workshop Kamerun

To start up the second batch of Lions funded projects in Africa, a training workshop was organized in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Representatives from the SODIS Projects in Kenya, Cameroun, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Togo, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Switzerland were present. Participants were enthusiastic to learn from the on-going projects and had the opportunity to exchange their experiences.



Regula Meierhofer is the new head of the SODIS in Switzerland

1 September 2007

On 31 October 2007, Martin Wegelin has retired from Eawag/Sandec after 25 years of dedicated commitment to develop appropriate technologies for water treatment. After the information on solar water disinfection was published by Prof. Aftim Accra in the 80ies, Martin was a driving force behind the continued research on the SODIS-method and the global promotion and dissemination of the method. Thanks to his engagement and persistence, the SODIS project was able to gain significant support by various donors and could be promoted worldwide. Martin will continue to support the activities us as a senior advisor.

Since 1 November 2007, Regula Meierhofer is heading the SODIS at Eawag. Regula has been involved in the promotion and research activities of SODIS at the Eawag since over 7 years. We very much appreciate that she is taking over this challenging position and brings in her wide experiences.


Regional SODIS Workshop Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

16 - 19 July 2007
Workshop Vietnam

From 16 to 19 July 2007 participants from 10 SODIS Projects in Asia met in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to exchange experiences during the implementation of SODIS Projects. The following countries were represented: Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Indonesia.



SODIS Training Workshop in Kisoro, Uganda

12 - 16 June 2007
Workshop Uganda

To start up the first batch of Lions funded projects in Africa, a training workshop was organized in the Kisoro Region of Uganda. Representatives from the SODIS Projects in Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Cameroun, DR Congo, Malawi and Switzerland were present. Participants were enthusiastic to learn from the on-going projects in Kenya and Uganda. At the end of the workshop, the participants decided to form the SODIS Africa Network to enhance the exchange of information and experiences.



National Lions Day in Switzerland for SODIS 

12 May 2007

On 12 May 2007, 8800 Lions - members of 226 Lions Clubs in Switzerland - were present in the public all over Switzerland to sell mineral water bottles. With the sale of the bottles, the Lions collected more than 2 Million Swiss Francs to support the promotion of the SODIS-method particularly in Africa and in Latin-America. Through this engagement more than 1 Million people can be trained in the application of the SODIS-method and measures to improve hygiene.



The SODIS Foundation wins the PLACA prize 2006 for accelerating access to safe drinking water in Latin America 

11 October 2006
Plaza Preis 06

The Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC) and Plan International awarded the Latin America and Caribbean Water Prize 2006 to the SODIS Foundation for its efforts to enable thousands of families in Latin America to obtain high quality drinking water.

PLACA Water Prizes are awarded annually to individuals, communities, organizations, schools or business for outstanding local, national or regional water-related achievements. The Prize is supported by UNESCO and the United Nation’s Environmental Program.


FC St. Gallen and AFC Zürich play for SODIS

16 August 2006

The Lions Club Toggenburg organized a soccer game for a good purpose. FC St. Gallen and AFC Zürich played on 16 August against each other. The funds collected through the game will be used for SODIS projects in Africa.


SODIS receives the Swiss Red Cross Prize

24 June 2006

For the first time in its 140 years old history, the Swiss Red Cross Federation has awarded a price for special humanitarian commitment. This price has been awarded to the SODIS project directed by Martin Wegelin, Eawag/ Sandec. The ceremony took place in the house of parliaments in the capital Berne on June 24, 2006.


SODIS Documentary on 3Sat

22 April 2006

Reporter Charlotte Eichhorn accompanied Martin Wegelin during his travels and visited SODIS Projects in Ecuador, Brazil and Sri Lanka. The documentary is shown on Saturday 22 April, 18.30 on 3Sat.


SODIS wins the Special Award during the Energy Globe Awards 2004 

24 November 2004
Energy Globe Award

The Energy Globe Award is the most significant environmental award worldwide. Best practice projects and initiatives for a careful and efficient use of our resources are awarded each year in the categories earth, energy, water, air and youth. This year more than 600 projects from 100 countries have applied for the Energy Globe Award.

More information is available under:


Lions Clubs support Drinking Water Projects for Developing Countries

7 June 2004
Lionsbesuch Lee

On Monday Tae-Sup Lee, president of the International Association of Lions Clubs, a chemical engineer, and representatives of Swiss lions clubs visited the Swiss Federal Institute of Science and Technology (ETH) to receive information about SODIS. The group was received by ETH rector Konrad Osterwalder, ETH vice president Gerhard Schmitt and Alexander Zehnder, Director of EAWAG and designed president of the ETH Council. Martin Wegelin, programme manager of SODIS, introduced the technology and thereafter served with the SODIS-method treated water from the lake of Zürich. The SODIS water was enjoyed by hosts and guests with much delight.



Eawag, Helvetas and Migros initiate SODIS-Projects in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Philippines

19 March 2004
Partnerschaft Eawag, Migros und Helvetas

New long-term SODIS Projects have been initiated in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Philippines. The projects are being implemented by Helvetas in collaboration with Eawag, providing the technical assistance and Migros, granting an annual financial support of 300'000 SFr. for the next 5 years.



Launching of the Michel Comte Water Foundation

December 2003

Michel Comte Water Foundation, a non-profit foundation involved in the financing and promotion of sustainable water projects worldwide, has supported a SODIS project in Latin America with 100'000 USD.


Lions Club Rorschach engages actively for SODIS

16 December 2003

The Lions Club Rorschach, Switzerland actively supports the worldwide promotion of the SODIS-method through different awareness activities within the Lions Clubs in Switzerland. For the Swiss Delegation Meeting held in Lugano on May 17, 2003, members of Lions Club Rorschach prepared an exhibition on SODIS and informed with great enthusiasm the delegates on the new water disinfection method. Furthermore, club members presented SODIS during Lions Club lunches throughout the year. In November 2003, the Lions Club Rorschach organized a fund raising campaign in their region. CHF 40’000 were collected through these activities and handed over by Mr. Paul Nater to Mr. Martin Wegelin in a small ceremony on December 16, 2003.


New Solaqua funded Projects

11 November 2003
Solaqua Stiftung

This year's competition for submitting SODIS project proposals to the SOLAQUA foundation has met large interest: 36 Organisations filled in the preliminary application format. Out of these 36 applications, 11 organisations with interesting applications had been invited to submit a project proposal for funding.

On 11 November the board of the SOLAQUA foundation met to review these eleven project proposals. Due to the limited amount of fund available, the number of organisations selected had to be limited. Selected for funding were the proposals from the following three countries: Tanzania, Zambia and Cambodia. The SOLAQUA foundation also decided to support a second phase of already ongoing projects in Uzbekistan, India and Kenya.


New Empa-Study about plasticizers in PET-bottles

20 June 2003

Plasticizers are used in the production of certain types of plastics and packaging materials (e.g. PVC). These are chemical substances are used to make the plastic material soft and bendable. Though they are not among the most dangerous chemical compounds, the consumption of high amounts of certain plasticizers is a risk for human health. Plasticizers are not, however, used in the production of PET. Whatever concentrations of plasticizers are found in water stored in PET bottles must thus originate from cross-contaminations. A scientific study conducted by Empa proved this.

Poster Empa
Wissenschaftliche Publikation


SODIS-method selected as Best Practice for the Dubai International Award

20 June 2002
Best Practice Award

The Dubai International Award selected the SODIS-method selected as one of the 40 Best Practices. The Dubai International Award for Best Practices plays a crucial role in the identification of Best Practices from around the world and maintains the UN-Habitat Best Practices database.



WHO recommends the SODIS-method during World Water  Day 2001

22 March 2001

On the World Water Day on 22 March 2001 WHO recommended the following most need solutions to reduce health hazards related to drinking water:

  • Chlorinating water
  • SODIS: Solar Water Disinfection
  • Changing Behaviour
  • Washing Hands -Measures to eradicate Guinea Worm disease
  • Community organisation and mobilisation

More information about World Water Day 2001


1st Prize for SODIS in the International SIMAVI Contest

17 March 2000

In 1999, the SIMAVI World Waterfund organised an international competition for fresh ideas on improving the water supply and/or sanitary conditions. The submitted proposal should be innovative and especially applicable in poor rural and/or slum areas in developing countries. The submitted project had to be widely applicable, maintenance or renewal had to be as much as possible self-financed by the beneficiaries, it had to include training possibilities for local people, etc.

The SODIS-method meets all these criteria. On 17 March 2000, during the SIMAVI Conference at the World Water Forum in The Hague, SODIS was officially awarded the first prize amounting to US$ 50,000.

Additional information on SIMAVI and the World Water Forum is found on: or

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Last update: 16.07.2013
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