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Plastic bottles could provide the cheapest and most practical way of preventing water-borne diseases in regions affected by the recent tsunami, say Swiss scientists.

Solar water disinfection — or SODIS — relies on radiation and heat from the sun to kill most bacteria and viruses in the water. All people need to do, say the researchers, is fill a clear plastic bottle with water, shake it, and leave it in the sun for at least six hours.

The main problem, they say, is convincing individuals and organisations that such a simple method could be effective. They would need to recruit the help of local partners to help promote the method to those living in affected areas.

Link to full SwissInfo news story 

Link to SciDev.Net's news focus 'Tsunami update'