We want to ensure that vulnerable people have sustainable access to clean, safe drinkable water. This is important because drinking contaminated water can cause a range of preventable illnesses, some of them fatal. In many developing countries ongoing water borne related sickness makes self-sufficiency very difficult. It might seem like a pipe dream to supply everyone with safe water, but this and our goal and it is achievable.
How it works
We have been working with Siemens Stiftung to deliver the Safe Water Enterprise (SWE) Program over the past 6 years. This program provides safe potable water for an entire village with one kiosk. The kiosks are built using pre-fabricated modules to assure building quality and can be flexibly deployed. The SkyHdrant filter works independently of the external power supply and can process between 500 and 1,000 litres of drinking water per hour. The Safe Water Kiosk and can supply up to 1000 people with water per day per kiosk. Clean containers are exchanged, as part of the SWE facility. This can prevent the safe water from being re-contaminated from older or dirty containers.
The SWE program improves the overall health conditions in the local community and also empowers people. The flow on effects mean that healthy children can consistently attend school, and healthy parents can work and maintain a regular household income.
Our model works
Water kiosks are a common sight in many african towns. People fill up containers daily with water and take them home. However, many existing kiosks in developing countries are providing water unsafe and untreated water. Our Safe Water Kiosks are pre-fabricated units that can be installed within 2 days. They use no electricity or consumables, ensuring that the cost of running the units is kept as low as possible. Also most importantly, the water is tested regularly to ensure compliance. So far almost 20 SWE installations are deployed in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania (see the image below).
The water kiosks foster entrepreneurship as well as empowerment, to create new opportunities for income generation. The safe water is sold at an affordable price. In most cases a community organisation operates the SWE and the earnings are reinvested in maintaining and expanding the project. Kiosk managers receive the required technical and entrepreneurial training. The medium-term goal is for ownership of the stations to be passed on to local communities and social entrepreneurs.
The next step – make it bigger!
But this global vision can be a reality. There is no reason why every needy community in the world should not have access to cheap, safe drinking water. To achieve that, we need two things:
- Agencies which are already working in communities to supply safe water
- Corporate sponsors who will fund the building of SWE’s around the world.
Can you help?
See our Donations page for information on how you can personally assist a community to receive clean drinking water. However, donations aren’t the only way to help us out – you could also suggest that your workplace become a corporate sponsor for a dedicated Safe Water Kiosk.