Nanotechnology and Developing Countries

Editor’s note: The following is a guest post written by Nicky Elkins, staff writer for and – AO

Developing countries have made great strides with technology by introducing different programs and initiatives. Doing so has helped spread information to the masses in these countries about different health concerns, climate, and agriculture, and has even opened jobs. However, there is still more to come for these areas. While having access to lightweight, powerful notebooks, internet, and cell phones has allowed these areas to grow, learn, and improve their quality of life, the introduction of nanotechnology can bring even more to these countries.

The majority of the health issues that are seen in Africa are directly related to the water quality. Water that is untreated contains bacteria, some of which are safe, but some of these bacteria can develop into extremely harmful diseases for humans. People in areas that don’t have clean water or water treatment systems have a higher chance of developing diseases like cholera, typhoid fever and other diarrheal diseases. One way to prevent this and decontaminate water is to boil it. However, for many people in developing countries, the cost for building a fire is too much, leaving them with untreated water. Another way to clean water is to use nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology is the application of technology on a molecular or atomic scale and can be used in several different fields of science. It is a relatively old concept for developed countries and production of it began in the early 1980’s. In underdeveloped countries, nanotechnology can be groundbreaking in the matter of providing clean water. Nanotechnology works on such a small scale that it changes what temperatures and chemicals are needed in order to break down other molecules that may be in harmful bacteria and viruses. This means that by using nanofiltration systems, it is easier to target the harmful chemicals, bacteria, and viruses that may infect drinking water in poverty areas in the world. As of now, there are approximately 900 million people who do not have access to clean water, and about 3.5 million people die each year from water related illnesses. By countries agreeing to apply nanotechnology and filtration to their water systems, they can help alleviate illnesses and deaths that are directly related to water contamination.

This type of technology can also be used for many technological concepts to help improve the quality of life in developing countries, like agriculture. Nanotechnology has helped to created small sensors that can be used to detect when a plant is under stress from things like drought, pests, or infertile soil. It can also be used to store water and release it slowly so that a plant can receive water when it needs it. This technology is also being used to keep fruits and vegetables fresher longer. Since it is working on such a small level, it is possible for scientists to add edible layers to food to help protect it from germs and bacteria, which would prevent it from spoiling so quickly.

While some of the applications of nanotechnology may not be as necessary for developing countries, its use to clean water for safe consumption and use is essential in these areas. Having clean and safe water helps prevent the many diseases that people in poverty are suffering from. Nanotechnology can help prevent the diseases that are associated with unclean drinking water.

This post by was first published at

Original post

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply