One of the biggest problems in the global south is access to clean water. Part of every OneBook Bible translation and literacy program (we have 73 of them going on around the world) has a community development component to it.

After developing the alphabet and a dictionary for the first time we start literacy programs. In every one of the 35 language projects in Cameroon we teach people to read.  The following lesson on making water clean with sunlight is a typical lesson that we have translated in over 30 languages. It’s much more practical than Dick and Jane and Spot the dog, or Doctor Seuss.


Is the child vomiting and has diarrhea? Then it is probably caused by bad water. Eight out of ten diseases are caused by polluted water. Especially for children, bad water can lead to severe problems. They may lose weight and their growth is retarded. They may even die. Even if the child does not die, it is expensive to treat recurring diseases.

But how does water become bad for drinking? There are many reasons. People may urinate near the water or in the water. There may be latrines too close to the water source. Then urine and other dirt penetrate through the earth or it will run on the ground into the water. Often people also throw refuse or even dead animals in the water.

When people bathe and wash their clothes in the water it becomes contaminated as well. Even if the water is clean, a dirty container can easily contaminate the water in it.

There is a simple and cheap way of purifying water! It has been discovered that the light and heat of the sun can kill the germs carrying diseases. If you have a few transparent plastic bottles you can make your own water cleaning system!

You need water, a clear bottle of 2 litres or less in size, and a clean cloth to act as a filter. An empty soda bottle is good.

First pour the water through a cloth into the clear bottle.. It is important that the water is not cloudy.

Place the cap on the bottle full of clear water and place it in the sunlight from early morning until the end of the day. A good place to put them is on the tin roof of your house.

A clear plastic bottle filled with water, exposed to the sun for 6 hours will make the water safe to drink. The harmful bacteria is killed by the sunlight and heat.

Many people have tried this in a successful way. Have you done so yet? It can help you keep off many stomach problems and diseases!

Discuss with the teacher how to do this in the right way!



Is it common that people suffer from diarrhea and vomiting?

Do people know what things can cause diarrhea?

Did you know that so many people die every year because of polluted water?

Where do you take your water from?

What is the water like that you drink?

Is this method to purify water known by people around you?

Do you think it is worth trying this method of purifying water?