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16 Jun, 2017

Clean water by Access to Water Foundation (A2W) and Better Shelter

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WHO reports that 91% of the world’s population had access to an improved drinking-water source in 2015, compared to 76% in 1990. However, a staggering 663 million people rely on unimproved water sources still, and contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause 502 000 diarrhoea deaths every year.

The Access to Water foundation (A2W) was founded with a grant from the Swiss Fresh Water company in 2012, with an aim to provide safe drinking water in developing countries and to create jobs in local communities. 

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The foundation is currently involved in water kiosk projects in parts of Senegal and Bolivia that today lack access to safe drinking water. Those interested in becoming a water kiosk manager can approach the foundation, which in turn will install the water treatment plants inside the kiosk. The kiosk manager can then earn a living by producing clean water and selling it to the members of their community at an affordable price (between 0.5 and 1.5$ cents per litre). The supplying of water also finances the maintenance of the machines and the extension of the project. 

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Earlier this year A2W decided to team up with Better Shelter to pilot a few shelter units as water kiosks in Senegal. According to A2W, the Better Shelter structure suits the project as it is a good size for the purpose while being easy to transport and to install, which enables the kiosk manager to commence the water production on day 1, instead of having to wait for the kiosk to be constructed (which can take several months with other structures!). This in turn enables the kiosk manager to be debt free when opening the business. The kiosk manager may also disassemble and move the unit to another location if required. A2W adds that the Better Shelter is robust enough and protects the machines from bad weather, robbery or intrusion from goats or other animals. 

Three shelters are being evaluated in the Kédougou region in Senegal; three machines in a Better Shelter in Kédougou City, one in Mako and one in Bentako.

Read more about the Access to Water Foundation here.

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