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A Tanzanian inventor has won a prestigious innovation prize

June 8, 2015 A Tanzanian chemical engineer has become the recipient of a prestigious African innovation prize from the United Kingdom’s Royal Academy of Engineering. Askwar Hilonga got the prize for his groundbreaking technology with a water filter which absorbs anything from copper and fluoride to bacteria, viruses and pesticides. His nano-filter can apparently eliminate 99.999% of micro organisms, bacteria and viruses.

Askwar’s method uses nanotechnology and sand to clean water and this is expected to help 70% of households in Tanzania that do not have access to clean drinking water. The award comes with a £25,000 cash prize which Askwar says will help reduce the price of the filter as he will be able to buy materials in bulk, which is usually cheaper. Currently one of the filter costs a hundred and thirty dollars.

Askwar was interviewed by the BBC about the invention and he said “I put water through sand to trap debris and bacteria, but sand cannot remove contaminants like fluoride and other heavy metals so I put them through nano materials to remove chemical contaminants.”

Askwar is considerate about those who cannot afford a hundred and thirty bucks for this necessity and has said “For people who cannot afford water filters, we have established water stations where people come and buy water at a very very low, affordable price,”

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