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Planet Water Foundation is a US-based, non-profit international development organisation focused on bringing clean water to the world’s most disadvantaged communities through the installation of community-based water filtration systems and education programmes on water-health & hygiene. Their projects are focussed on schools, children, and rural communities who lack access to clean, safe water. On 22nd March 2015, Applied Satellite Technology Ltd, Cobham SATCOM and Inmarsat supplied satellite communications for Planet Water’s biggest project to date.
Today, almost 1 billion people in the world live in water poverty, which means that their nearest source of clean, safe water is either far away, unclean or unaffordable. The lack of clean, safe water contributes to the needless deaths of nearly 4,000 children every day worldwide and severely restricts the productivity and prosperity of villages where water is sourced from contaminated rivers, streams, ponds, and wells.
The organisation provides two primary solutions that change these young lives: community-based AquaTowers that filter source water to remove harmful bacteria, and a child-friendly Water-Health and Hygiene Education programme. In a little more than five years, Planet Water Foundation has provided more than half-million people with clean, safe water in 12 countries across two continents.
To mark World Water Day on 22nd March 2015, Planet Water launched Project 24, a bold initiative to build 24 AquaTowers in 24 communities in just 24 hours, to provide clean safe water to over 24,000 people in Cambodia.
Live social media and webcasts ran during the 24-hour period and were viewable on the internet using satellite communication solutions provided through a collaborative effort led by Applied Satellite Technology LTD (AST), Inmarsat and Cobham SATCOM.
Cobham SATCOM provided two EXPLORER 710 BGAN terminals, which used Inmarsat’s BGAN HDR service to stream live feeds of each build directly back to the project website. Engineers from AST were deployed to Cambodia to set up the satellite equipment and provided technical support throughout the project.
The project was a huge success. With each AquaTower producing 10,000 litres of clean water per day, each tower now supports the daily water requirements of 1,000 people.
For these communities, this is life-changing. Children are able to spend more time in the classroom being educated and less time collecting water every day. It also leads to increased productivity among the rest of the community. But most importantly, providing easy access to safe water for these communities means saving the lives of so many children affected by water-related illnesses every year.
Applied Satellite Technology Ltd is proud to have been involved with Planet Water assisting with engineering support for Project 24, ensuring the satellite communications ran smoothly and efficiently.