This is actually a terrible design, one that creates dependency on others and foreigners in particular. I mean, just look at it! Is this something that third-world villagers can make for themselves, or is this something that has to be shipped in from elsewhere?
This is an example of people who simply can’t think outside the box. The engineers behind it may be looking at the developing world, but they are seeing only themselves…
There are water purification systems that can be produced locally, the most complicated machinery involved being a potter’s wheel. And, yes, such a solution is only the fraction of the cost of plastic devices (plastic comes from oil), after factoring in labor and transportation costs. And the only thing the developing nations have to import is a little knowledge.
I know well intentioned people look at the third world and want to solve all of it’s problems immediately, modernizing the whole planet just as quickly as possible. But this is a huge mistake, a destructive error. The needs of the third-world are exactly the opposite of the modern west.
Labor is expensive in the west. We use equipment and material designed to cut down on labor, reducing time and cost. In the developing world labor is cheap and plentiful. Labor intensive solutions are the best. A bulldozer can do the work of a thousand men, but it is very expensive and has to be imported, as does the fuel and spare parts. Shovels can be made locally using nothing more complicated than ancient technology. After all, even the ancient Romans had no problem producing such tools. So, why spend money the third world doesn’t have on expensive technology that increases their dependence on outsiders, leaves their greatest resource (the people) to rot and in the end creates a culture of haves-v-have nots (the people with money paying jobs verses the impoverished masses)?
“The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”
They mean it.