KIMBERLY, Wis. - An estimated 361,000 children under five-years-old die every year from diarrhea caused by poor sanitation and contaminated water, according to the World Health Organization.
It's a disturbing fact, considering the potential for prevention of contamination. A local company saw the possibility and is taking action.
Crane Engineering in Kimberly built a mobile septage treatment system prototype in 2016 and tested it last year. This month, Crane Engineering received a $4.2M grant from the Bill and Melinda Foundation.
Crane Engineering is excited to announce that we've been awarded a $4.2 million grant to design, build and test a human waste treatment solution that increases safe sanitation in developing countries! Click here to learn how: https://t.co/940JmPsqmxpic.twitter.com/NY6SBi9PGs
The grant will allow the company to continue developing the prototype, focusing on making it cost effective, mobile and easier to move in crowded areas.
Last summer, CEO and Owner of Crane Engineering, Lance Crane and Program Director, Mark Hassman along with a team traveled to Ghana and Uganda to see the devastating issue firsthand and continue their work to save lives. Hassman explains in great depth what the team saw and experienced in a blog.
The goal of the project is to create a pathogen-killing human waste treatment system that is viable in dense, urban areas, where poor sanitation is a risk to human health.
"It essentially turns waste into water, and that water can be used for industry, agriculture, but the important thing is that it's safe. When it goes back into the environment, it doesn't have the pathogens that make people sick and kill them." said Mark Hassman.
Crane and Hassman both expressed incredible concern over the situation some of these communities are in and how they currently operate to remove human waste.
"This cause has captivated not only myself, but all of our employees got really excited about working on this. A lot times we sell pumps and valves and we do systems and things around here and make an impact, but to have an impact on a global scale and potentially save lives, that was really important." said Lance Crane.
Crane Engineering is a family-owned private company currently with more than 90 employees and has been recognized with the 2016 Fox Cities Award, Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce along with numerous sales awards from manufacturers.