SAFE AND CLEAN WATER
Do you want to support us in creating this sustainable solution?
Water covers most of the Earth’s surface and makes up about 60 % of the human body. Water is not only the foundation of a healthy lifestyle but also vital and essential for human life. Therefore, the United Nations recognized the access to clean drinking water as a human right.
While access to clean drinking water is obvious in Germany and you can find the next water tap just around the corner, according to WHO, there are 844 million people worldwide who do not have access to safe drinking water. Many diseases are caused by contaminated water. For example, in the Kigoma region, Tanzania, cholera outbreaks are still present, as a result of unclean water. According to UNICEF, 4.000 people die every day from the effects of contaminated water. Thus, the human right to clean drinking water is still not guaranteed in many parts of the world.
In addition to physical suffering, negative side effects such as failure in school or in professional life also occur and affect people. More than that, many treatments are very costly and can bring affected people in financial trouble.
To change this, 12 students launched in 2014 the project Waterfilter as a part of Enactus Munich. Their aim is to empower people to take entrepreneurial action and allow them access to safe drinking water.
Successful pilot project
in Kigoma, Tanzania
Certified filter performance of
over 99 % water purity
Two secure jobs created
35 people sponsored water filters
Over 150 water filters sold
1.240 pupils have access to safe drinking water thanks to our water filters
Water can get rid of microbial contamination with filters that are comprised of local resources. These water filters are produced on site by our so-called “Waterpreneurs“ and sold in special shops at a fair price.
Our pilot project is currently running in Kigoma (Tanzania), where we have set up our production facility including all-important machinery. Providing clean drinking water for the local population is related to the infrastructure of the facility and standardized production, which belong to our concept.
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THE WATER FILTER: EFFECTIVE, HIGH-QUALITY & ORGANIC
Complex problems are often solved with easy, but rational concepts. Our Waterfilter consists of only four materials: clay, sawdust, water and silver nitrate. These resources can be obtained anyplace in the world and therefore the filter can be produced and used independently of its location.
A manual filter press is responsible for the manufacturing and high-quality production of our filters. Burning at high temperatures is indispensable for the functionality, as the organic material is burned and leaves micropores. Through these micropores, the water is filtrated and freed of all contamination. A thin layer of silver nitrate is put on the filters after the burning; this step ensures the killing of bacteria, which can even in small amounts cause big health damages. However, the silver nitrate does not reach the cleaned water during the filtration and is demonstrably harmless for the human organism.
To guarantee the high Quality of our water filters, the efficiency was verified multiple times and the purity degree of the filtrated water with more than 99 % certified by the local water ministry.
IMPACT ON VARIOUS LEVELS
Our employees, so-called Waterpreneurs, are being trained to produce and sell the filters in their local community and city. Besides the production and distribution of filters, they are responsible for quality management and educational work in schools as well as the maintenance of machines and equipment. In line with the “Train-the-trainer-Concept”, we are providing promising career perspectives for our employees and creating new jobs over time.
Even though the consequences of the consumption of contaminated water seem obvious and often result in illness, there is still a big part of the population which is not aware of the danger of drinking impure water. Therefore, the educational work is a crucial part of our project. Starting with the youngest generation, we are trying to create awareness in schools, by giving talks or distributing our booklet to the children. Furthermore, several water filters were donated to schools, so the children could experience the difference firsthand and transfer their knowledge to their families. In addition, our Waterpreneurs are spreading the word in state institutions, looking for potential cooperations with the government.
With the help of a fundraising campaign which we started in December 2018 in Germany, we generated money for filter sponsorships in Tanzania. We were able to provide safe drinking water for 1.200 school children. But the water filter is not just given to the schools. Our Waterpreneurs also give workshops at the schools, to teach them the knowledge on how to use and clean the filter and also how the filter works. We want to thank everyone who donated a WATERFILTER very much!
Our vision is to empower people to provide access to safe drinking water for others and themselves by taking entrepreneurial action.
Through our network consisting of various NGOs, most notably MIBOS, we engage in discussions and receive feedback, fostering the success of our project. We have gained an in-depth understanding of regional structures. Leveraging opportunities from these particular environments is key for us in our mission to enable entrepreneurial action and provide access to clean and safe water.
OUR FUTURE VISION
Our pilot project serves as a blueprint for future locations. We aim to establish additional Waterfilter shops in Tanzania, to increase our reach whereby more people have the opportunity to access clean and safe water. Building on the experience of the set up of previous Waterfilter shops, we also develop best-practice approaches. This will allow us to establish future shops in an even shorter time period while also sharing our learnings and insights with others who work on similar projects in other countries. Thus, making a contribution to global effort to provide safe water for everyone.
Let’s help together now!
OUR BUSINESS MODEL
In order to ensure sustainable value creation in the long-term, it is essential that our project is economically viable. Our Waterfilter shop is break-even when selling more than 30 filters per month. These sales provide enough revenue to pay a midrange salary to two Waterpreneurs as well as allowing to built some financial reserves for maintenance and unexpected expenditures. Besides the education of the local population about the risks of unsafe and contaminated water, the long-term contact with our customers is important to generate these sales. Indeed, satisfied customers can act as multiplicators as well as may repurchase a water filter once the two-years, during which we can guarantee that the filters work effectively, have passed.
A SIMPLE CALCULATION
A simple calculation Who does not own a water filter, has to spend more money and use techniques which use more resources. One example would be to boil the water. Doing this over a period of two years entails costs up to 1.095.000 TZS. Compared to using a water filter, whose acquisition cost is only 60.000 TZS, a family would save 95 %. Is a water filter in use for two years, the filter costs annualised only 1 € per month.
INSTALLMENT PAYMENT MODEL
To make sure that the price is not an obstacle for excess to safe drinking water, our Waterpreneurs are offering an instalment payment model. Costumers can pay the filter over a period of 3-6 months. To reduce the risk for the Waterpreneure we cooperate with local banks like VICOBA and SACCOs, which offer microloans for concerned people. Furthermore, it is possible that the employer, like schools, guarantee for the instalment payment.
The first shop opened in 2015 in Kigoma, Tanzania. Kigoma is a city with about 150.000 inhabitants and is next to the Tanganyika lake.
Many people there suffer from the consequences of contaminated water. They have problems with diarrhoea, typhus or even deadly cholera. Most people get their water from one water source, which is completely overcrowded. With the help of 20-litre buckets, they carry the water back their home. There is often a time lapse before water is used. This is the perfect time and conditions for bacteria to multiply. Using our filter shortly before drinking the water you can filter out all the bacteria – the water is clear and safe to use.
On the premises of the organisation MIBOS the filters get produced by our Waterpreneurs. The Waterfilter Team from Germany had set up a water filter production with all the necessary machines. For example, they build a kiln with bricks and clay. In this kiln, it is possible to burn 80 filters at once.
Next to the production site is the Waterfilter shop, where it is possible to purchase a water filter.
Who we are
We are a team of committed Munich students with different fields of study. Our goal is to help people live a better life through a sustainable, entrepreneurial approach and thus improve the world in the long run.