In connection with the World Water Day, GreentechLead identified a few companies that provide innovative solutions to address the water issues the society is facing.
Here we go:
SPOUTS of Water provides Ugandan communities with increased access to safe drinking water by manufacturing and distributing affordable ceramic water filters. In Uganda, 30 percent of the population lacks access to safe drinking water sources, resulting in widespread economic, health, and social ramifications. An additional 60 percent of the population boils their drinking water, while the remaining 10 percent purchases bottled water. Both of these options are detrimental to the environment and place significant financial burden on Uganda’s citizens.
To address this problem, SPOUTS created the Purifaaya, the only locally manufactured water filter in Uganda. The Purifaaya is affordable even to poorer communities at $22, providing a tested solution to people who need it most. Since the first sale in 2015, SPOUTS has provided over 80,000 individuals in 200 different communities across Uganda with access to clean drinking water. Switching to the Purifaaya saves Ugandan families around $100 a year, not including the reduced cost of healthcare or increased time for income generating activities. Furthermore, with over 10,000 filters sold to date, SPOUTS has reduced CO2 emissions by over 20,000 tons.
Kathy Ku is the CEO and co-founder of SPOUTS.
As of 2012, an estimated 600,000 children under the age of five die from diarrhea each year, making childhood diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation the second leading cause of childhood mortality.
Dispensers for Safe Water is a solution to this issue and an example of Evidence Action’s approach of implementing cost-effective interventions backed by rigorous data. The program is a proven and sustainable way for communities to have safe water and has a user base of over 4.8 million people in Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda.
Dispensers for Safe Water places chlorine dispensers in the immediate vicinity of other water sources. Users go to their water source to fetch water, place their container under the dispenser, turn the valve to dispense a measured amount of diluted chlorine, and then fill the bucket with water. The chlorine disinfects the water as they are walking home and keeps it safe for 2-3 days.
The program also has an ingenious cost-recovery mechanism: carbon credits. Because chlorine dispensers avert carbon emissions — people do not need energy to boil water to disinfect it — we are generating credits. We then sell the credits on carbon markets, giving us revenue to reinvest in the program.
Andy Naracott leads the Dispensers for Safe Water project at Evidence Action.
Jibu is rooted in the belief that the ultimate solution to the water challenge is eye-to-eye partnership with local owners. Through a social franchise model, Jibu is launching drinking water businesses in urban and peri-urban areas where the local water sources are unsafe to drink. Jibu’s custom-designed SolarPure filtration system is exceptional in that it can draw water from almost any source, purify with ultrafiltration, and bottle in 100 percent reusable containers.
Through efficient technology and distribution, Jibu franchises are making safe water accessible and affordable to entire communities. In less than 2 years, Jibu has grown to 41 franchises and 136 microfranchises, producing over 22 million liters of water for communities in East Africa, with plans to soon launch in other developing regions. The majority of Jibu’s franchises are profitable, and through their operations have created 556 jobs, many filled by women and youth.
Organized as a hybrid L3C entity, Jibu’s social impact business model is disrupting existing dynamics and offering an unprecedented opportunity for governments, for-profit and nonprofit investors to leverage each other’s resources to accomplish systemic impact.
Randy Welsch is the co-founder and president of Jibu.
Disclaimer: The opinion given in this article belongs to the respective authors, and not GreentechLead.