Clean Energy Drinking Water Solutions in Kenya
Introducing our project ‘Clean Energy Drinking Water Solutions in Kenya’
The project ‘Clean Energy Drinking Water Solutions’ is a partnership between Danish company 4LifeSolutions, Africa’s largest women organisation Maendeleo ya Wanawake, and Access2innovation. The project is funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Danida Green Business Partnerships (DGBP) program.
The objective of the project is to mature the commercial distribution model of the SaWa (safe water) solar-purified water solutions in Kenya, in ways that create income for women, while reducing risks of water-borne diseases and GHG emissions from boiling water with firewood, thereby improving livelihoods for poor families. Further, a recycling scheme for the SaWa products will be explored.
Background: unsafe water and GHG emissions
In Kenya, 82% of households use traditional fuels such as firewood or charcoal every day for cooking and boiling water, which has significant negative environmental impacts, including GHG emissions, deforestation and land degradation. At the same time, 28.7% of all households in Kenya get their water from unimproved water sources. 54% do not treat their drinking water at all, while 24% boil water to make it safe mainly using firewood and charcoal, leading to respiratory health problems, deforestation and CO2 emissions. Unsafe drinking water leads to water borne diseases which is the number one leading cause of death in children under the age of five in Kenya.
Using SaWa products can reduce the need for firewood, charcoal, or fossil fuels for boiling water, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and leaving more trees and vegetation unharmed thereby reducing desertification. Providing SaWa products to women and girls in rural Kenyan communities reduces the time spent collecting water and firewood and thereby promotes gender equality. In addition, the business model of the project provides an opportunity for rural and urban Kenyan women to earn an income as sales agents in their local communities thereby contributing to economic and social empowerment, and improved livelihoods. The project supports the national development objectives, in particular Kenya Vision 2030 in the sectors of Environment, Water and Sanitation, and Gender, Youth and Vulnerable Groups, the National Water Master Plan 2030, the National Water Policy of 2021, and the National Water Services Strategy for 2021–2025.
Meet the partners
Maendeleo ya Wanawake (MYWO), who is the lead partner of the project, is a Kenyan women organization and the largest in Africa with 4 million registered members, 17,780 elected leaders and operating 25,000 groups / affiliates. It’s a 70-year-old organization, well known and rooted in the Kenyan society. MYWO’s mission is to nurture and empower women through various capacity building interventions that promote women’s rights and sustainable livelihoods in society. Their vison is a society in which all women are empowered to make choices in matters that directly affect them. MYWO’s core values are honesty, transparency, accountability, integrity, teamwork and professionalism. MYWO has implemented projects with a number of partners, among other: Ministry of Public Affairs, Equity Bank, Kenya Red Cross, and UNFPA. For more information, visit: www.mywokenya.org.
4Life Solutions (4LS) is a Danish impact company on the mission to bring safe drinking water to 1 billion people worldwide who lack access to clean water. 4LS develops and sells affordable clean energy drinking water purification solutions to low-income households in need. 4LS’ products use only sunrays to purify the water – the SaWa Bag of 4L and the SaWa Can of 6L are uniquely designed reusable plastic items that after 4 hrs in the sun provide 99.99% removal of bacteria and protozoa and 99.9% removal of viruses. The products are climate-friendly alternatives to boiling water using firewood or charcoal and an alternative to using chlorine, as SaWas do not alter taste or odor. 4LS has +25 employees across Denmark, Kenya, and Tanzania. To date, 4LS has produced and distributed +200,000 SaWas providing safe water across 6 countries. For more, visit: www.4lifesolutions.com.
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