“17 September 2019 – Twenty-one-year-old Anna-Luisa Beserra, Founder of Aqualuz, has won the Young Champions of the Earth Prize for her device which disinfects rainwater captured in cisterns through solar radiation.
“As world leaders gather at the UN Headquarters in New York for the Climate Action Summit and General Assembly in the coming days, climate and the environment will be at the forefront of discussions. Youth around the world are already taking action, because there is no time to lose.
Diarrheal disease is a leading cause of death worldwide, linked to unsafe drinking water and a lack of improved sanitation and hygiene access. The burden of disease often falls on the young, poor, and those in rural areas.
“Beserra’ solution Aqualuz is an innovative filter which purifies rainwater collected in a cistern installed in rural areas where running water is not accessible, a situation which affects more than a million people in Brazil. The water in the cistern is purified using rays from the sun. An indicator changes color when the water is safe to drink.
“My purpose is to bring the basic right of clean water to disadvantaged communities in rural areas,” said Beserra. “We want to help make people’s lives better and potentially save lives.”
“Her invention is low-cost and easy to maintain, and can last up to 20 years. While so far used only in Brazil, it has potential for application in other countries. Aqualuz has already delivered clean drinking water to 265 people and will reach another 700 this year…”
“Since she won the 2019 Young Champion of the Earth prize for Latin America and the Caribbean, Aqualuz Founder Anna Luisa Beserra has been working hard on saving lives.
“Her creativity continues to help rural communities in Brazil to have access to safe drinking water. Her life has changed incredibly since winning the prize in September.
“Ever since I was awarded the prize, Aqualuz’s visibility has tremendously increased,” she explains.
“Before the award, it was hard to convince people that Aqualuz really worked and that it would be a useful technology for this region. After the award, we became renowned not only in Brazil but also in Japan, India and Korea as more people were asking us about the technology and wanted to buy it.
“It has been fantastic, not only for the project but also for the whole start-up and the team. I have enjoyed motivating them to work and to follow our purpose to make water available for everyone,” said Anna.
“Beserra believes people are becoming more cognizant of Brazil’s environmental challenges, including deforestation in the Amazon and oil spills in the seas. She has received many questions regarding Brazil’s fight with these issues.
“I have received numerous invitations to speak at various events in Brazil. As a scientist and social entrepreneur, I have received a higher recognition in the field of social innovation. It makes me happy to see that the fruits of my hard work are finally being recognized and are creating positive impact…”
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