Habitat for Humanity International is getting 100,000 PackH2O collapsible water backpacks from the manufacturer, Greif, to use in 8 developing countries.

Greif began testing the PackH2O water backpack with Habitat for Humanity in over a dozen countries and will begin deploying 100,000 packs in El Salvador, Haiti, the Philippines, Honduras, Nicaragua, Nepal and Sri Lanka in September. Greif President and CEO David Fischer said that during a trip to Haiti following the earthquake in 2010, he saw women carrying water in containers on their heads, and kids lugging home dirty jerry cans and buckets full of water weighing up to 48 pounds each. A test of  the cans found that more than 90% were contaminated with E.Coli and over 70% had previously held oil and other toxic chemicals.  

A 5 gallon backpack is still 40 pounds but it is a much more manageable 40 pounds. Hikers don't carry buckets of gear for a reason, and the reason is because backpacks redistribute weight. 72% of people who had used it said they were able to carry more water than with buckets. 60% said it took them less time to carry water home. 

Credit: PackH20

What about sanitation? The big downside to cans and buckets remains keeping water clean over time. The liner can be removed and sanitized in the sun. They cite a study by Battelle which found that 60-90 minutes in the sun removed E.Coli from the liner nearly as effectively as chlorination, along with 99% of pathogens and germs. Detergents not needed, nor recommended. SODIS (solar disinfectant) for the microbiological win!

Why do it? Well, they just decided they wanted to do it - but they are not free to manufacture, so if you want to buy one for a person in need, here you go.