What are our objectives with Safe Water Enterprises?
Access to safe drinking water is critical to the livelihood of the individual and the development of an entire community. According to the World Water Development Report, 89 percent of the world’s population now has access to safe drinking water. But in sub-Saharan Africa, the problem remains acute: 40 percent of all people in the region live without safe drinking water supplies, according to UNICEF and WHO.
The situation is particularly dramatic in rural areas. Some 17 million Kenyans living in remote areas have no access to safe drinking water, for instance. They must often walk long distances to the nearest water supply or are forced to drink contaminated water. This situation leads to life-threatening diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea, especially for children. The aim of the Safe Water Enterprises project is to establish a sustainable supply of clean drinking water in these remote regions.
Like our other projects in the working area of Basic Needs & Social Entrepreneurship, Safe Water Enterprises combines technical solutions with an entrepreneurial approach to increase quality of life in a sustainable way.
What distinguishes Safe Water Enterprises?
- The supply of drinking water through the SkyHydrant filtration system
Safe Water Enterprises are equipped with mobile SkyHydrant filters. Water flows by natural water pressure from a tank, which is supplied with raw water. The filter consists of 10,000 hair-thin membrane fibers, which function as a sieve to remove suspended solids, bacteria and viruses. The system can produce up to 1,000 liters of drinking water without electrical power and supply nearly 500 households with water.
- Quality assurance through prefabricated buildings and hygienic containers
Prefabricated kiosk buildings ensure quality water dispensing on the one hand and can be erected quickly and flexibly on the other. Purified containers, which can also be purchased at the water kiosks, keep the water safe during transport.
- Income for the local population
Safe Water Enterprises inspire entrepreneurial activities and create new income opportunities for the local population. Interested parties can participate in technical and business training courses and be trained as kiosk managers.
- Opportunity for financial sustainability and independence
The water is sold to the community at an affordable price. The earnings cover operational costs such as labor and maintenance as well as the expansion of the water.
- Health and hygiene training
The communities receive health and hygiene education in training courses. These address difficult topics in a playful way with interactive teaching methods and experiments. Awareness for the importance of hygiene and safe drinking water is thus increased for children and adults alike.
Who participates in Safe Water Enterprises?
Siemens Stiftung realizes Safe Water Enterprises together with selected partners and local communities. The SkyJuice Foundation developed the kiosk concept and technical components, including the filter system. The Kenyan company PureFlow provides local support, and the Global Nature Fund financed both pilot project kiosks. Experienced partners such as SOS Children’s Villages, AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation) and The Hunger Project help to integrate the Safe Water Enterprises into existing local structures. Members of each community operate the kiosks.