According to organizations such as The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in the UK and UNICEF, nearly 18,000 children in developing countries drown each year. Bangladesh is identified as being particularly vulnerable to water accidents and the prime candidate for the JalaPira, a tool aimed at helping kids rescue their companions in the event of an emergency. The recycled PET plastic floatation device is currently a contender for the James Dyson Award.
The JalaPira is made from recycled PET plastic and doubles as a seat when at home. It is designed to be used by children, as many drownings occur when young friends or family members are nearby. JalaPira holds 6.5 liters of air and consists of a large main body, seat, three large handles, retrieval line and whistle, and line housing. The JalaPira can be tossed to a victim at a range of six feet away.
In initial prototype tests, children as young as four were able to easily and safely use the JalaPira. Costs to produce them remain low at £4 ($6 USD) each, even at the production level of 10,000 units. This makes the JalaPira suitable and affordable for NGO’s to purchase and disseminate. The JalaPira’s inventors hope to establish a partnership with SwimSafe, an organization already established in the country in order to save lives and help Bangladesh with its Millennium Development Goal on Infant Mortality.
Images via the James Dyson Foundation