Sustainable water solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa

Around the world today, 2.1 billion people lack access to a secure supply of drinking water, even though water is the foundation of our existence and an essential resource for sanitary facilities, health care, education, economic growth, and industry. In our operative project work, water plays an essential role in achieving sustainable economic, social, and ecologic development in line with the United Nations Agenda 2030.

SWE water kiosks sell water at affordable prices that cover the running costs for maintenance and personnel.
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Our foundation’s water projects within the working area Development Cooperation focuse on the secure supply of clean drinking water, water recycling and hygiene awareness. Thereby, we rely on social entrepreneurial structures, technical innovations and knowledge transfer.

In the following we have compiled an overview of our projects in the field of WASH (water, sanitation & hygiene).

Safe Water Enterprises: Self-powered drinking water distribution for East Africa

The Siemens Stiftung project “Safe Water Enterprises” works closely with local communities to operate drinking water kiosks in Kenya and Uganda and ensure a steady supply of clean drinking water. The kiosks utilize special filters to remove particles, bacteria, and viruses from water. In 2019, around 6.2 million liters of water were sold at nine locations. In the rural village of Wath Onger, a single kiosk that opened in March 2019 sold 2 million liters of water. In addition, the same village has seen no cases of cholera since last year. Alongside our educational work in schools and our efforts to supply them with facilities such as handwashing stations, close collaboration with local health workers on social marketing is an important part of this project.

WeTu: Social business model with new technologies in Kenya

Innovative filter technology is also being used at the foundation’s social enterprise, WeTu. A four-step treatment process purifies untreated water taken from Lake Victoria, creating a reliable supply of water for communities along the lake in Western Kenya. Vending machines in these communities provide clean, filtered drinking water that is available around the clock. Since the program was launched in April 2019, 800,000 liters of water have been sold.

TeamUp: Focusing on water management in Uganda

The program TeamUp is an initiative by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung, Siemens Stiftung, and Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung that focuses on water management in Uganda. In that country, just one third of houses and only 40 percent of schools have access to a viable source of water. Siemens Stiftung supports the social enterprise Whave Solutions, which works with the public sector on permanently supplying rural regions with drinking water. The program also includes efforts toward improving plumbing and hygiene conditions in schools and developing better irrigation capabilities for small farmers

empowering people. Network: International database with 19 water solutions

The empowering people. Network supports several technical innovations in the Development Cooperation working area and is continually exploring new ways of counteracting future challenges. The network includes 19 water supply solutions, including irrigation pumps, water recycling processes, or treatment methods.

We are currently facing many challenges: extended droughts, sinking groundwater levels, and growing populations are just a few. The situation calls for continued development and expansion of water supply solutions in addition to efforts aimed at creating awareness about these issues. Solutions for dealing with brackish water or water that has been contaminated by chemicals will need to be improved and expanded. New technologies will need to be implemented, and education programs increased in scale.

»In order to develop sustainable water supply projects, factors such as drought must be taken into account and compensated by technical measures.«

Or would you like to work with us on supporting water projects in rural Sub-Saharan Africa? We look forward to hearing from you!

Project manager Safe Water Enterprises
Christine Meinhardt

+49 9131 92079 133

Project manager TeamUp Uganda
Christine Janezic

+49 89 540 487 440

Project manager WeTu
Tilmann Straub

+49 89 540 487 318

Project manager empowering people. Network
Carola Schwank

+49 9131 92079 910