As part of this commitment, the Arthur Guinness Fund, a global philanthropic initiative of Guinness, is providing 500,000 euros to this initiative. In partnership with EnterpriseWorks VITA, the 500,000 euros will fund the marketing and subsidisation of 30,000 filters during an initial 15-month project, providing clean water to 250,000 low income individuals.
The delivery work plan includes:
- a baseline household impact survey
- development of a media and marketing / promotional programme
- training and capacity building for distributors and retailers
- monitoring and tracking systems
- an evaluation report based on results from initial market entry pilot and a consumer demand / needs assessment
Over three years ago, Diageo launched the 1 Million Challenge as part of Diageo's Water of Life program to provide clean water to one million people in Africa each year until 2015. Projects are selected according to local needs, available technologies, and sustainability factors such as enterprise development, community ownership, hygiene and sanitation promotion, and gender equality.
EnterpriseWorks/VITA (EWV) has been working with Diageo and its operation companies in Africa since the inception of the 1 Million Challenge. The partnership recently created a new sustainable market for a point-of-use water treatment (the CrystalPur ? water filter) in Uganda. This new commitment seeks to scale up that model to new geographies in Ghana and Nigeria, which also face water access and quality issues but have enormous potential for social enterprise in the water sector.
It is widely recognized that point-of-use water treatment can make an important contribution to water quality as it is more effective at improving water quality at the point of consumption. Point-of-use treatment is particularly appropriate to both Ghana and Nigeria due to the wide availability of surface water in many regions. Facing many demands on their time and effort, many families in these regions resort to using nearby sources of water such as a stream or a spring that are likely to be contaminated, rather than travel several kilometers to use a public borehole provided by the government. Point-of-use treatment focuses on improving water quality at the household level instead of attempting to improve supply at the community level. Point-of-use solutions offer the advantage of being able to leverage personal funds - even the small amounts available in rural families - to improve water quality.
Throughout Africa, there is already a culture of paying for water, demonstrating the importance that people place on having clean drinking water and a willingness to consider private-sector solutions to this public health problem. Up to sixty percent of urban Africans report that they already pay for water by buying bottled or packaged water, or by paying fees for piped water or pump use. Both Ghana and Nigeria have registered water-bottling companies, providing bottled water to higher-income consumers and a host of smaller, unregistered companies who market mixed-quality water to the mass market.
EWV proposes to address the need in Ghana and Nigeria for an inexpensive point-of-use water treatment device by creating a private-sector supply chain for a highly efficient water filter known as the CrystalPur? that will be made available at a price that the majority of people can afford. CrystalPur? eliminates 99.99% of all waterborne bacteria and parasites, with no chemicals or mechanical parts.
Sustainability will be a key focus of this intervention. EWV will partner with an established local distributor in each country and contract a local marketing firm to provide marketing, health awareness, and promotional assistance in order to launch the product. The local distributor will purchase the filters at full cost from EWV. The filters will be provided from EWV on consignment, permitting the distributor to offer similar terms to associated retailers and ensuring that EWV burdens the risk should some filters not be sold. This business model is an important enabling mechanism in cash-poor economies. As the supply chain becomes established and increasing profits are made, marketing and importing functions will also be transitioned to local enterprises.
The general market for this filter retailing at approximately US, will target 40% of the people earning between USD 1.50 and 5 a day who do not have access to clean drinking water.
EWV plans to target low-income consumers earning between US.50 and in urban areas and selected rural market centers.
POTENTIAL UNIQUE FACTORS
EWV is seeking to qualify the CrystalPur water filter for carbon credit revenue based on the fact that in the countries in which the project will be implemented, the current culture is to boil water for drinking purposes. By using CrystalPur, people need not boil to purify their water, greatly reducing the use of biomass (wood, charcoal). This results in large economic savings for households in terms of fuel costs and also greatly reduces the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and reduces deforestation.
EWV have been working with a carbon company on a methodology that would be the first in the world to recognize this. The methodology will be approved by the Geneva based Gold Standard, one of two world recognized bodies for carbon credits, who have issued verbal approval for this methodology. According to this methodology, CrystalPur filter removes at least ? a ton of carbon from the atmosphere per year and therefore qualifies for carbon credits.
By the end of the AGF funded project in both countries, EWV plans to have in place a follow-on carbon credit based CrystalPur filter project that would take the project in both countries to scale. In essence, the AGF (see below for details) funding would serve the purpose of seed capital in establishing the market and demand for the filter. The goal of the carbon based projects is to create a sustainable market and sell hundreds of thousands of water filters in each country over a 5-7 year period, reducing waterborne diseases, improving health, increasing household income through enterprise development and reducing the release of greenhouse gases and deforestation.
SEEKING: financial assistance, media and marketing opportunities.
OFFERING: financial assistance, implementing partnership, best practice information. Partnership with others on projects that contribute to other regions where water access issues are acute