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Boosting business in household water treatment and storage products

Published on: 07/04/2015

IRC is involved in an exciting programme to stimulate businesses in products and systems for household water treatment and storage: Safe Water Phase 2. 

HWTS solutions (ceramic filter) sold in remote villages in CambodiaSafe Water Phase 2 is a three year initiative (2015-2018) aiming to increase access to safe water particularly for people living at the base of the economic pyramid (BOP). The programme focuses on replicating successful business models for Household Water Treatment and Storage (HWTS) Systems. This is done by supporting, consolidating and documenting selected business models in Cambodia, India, Guinea Conakry, Nepal and Pakistan. The main objectives of the programme are:

  • 5-7 business models which deliver safe water to the base of the economic pyramid are consolidated, are viable and can be replicated globally
  • safe water policies are introduced in selected countries; Nepal and/or India and/or Cambodia and/or Guinea Conakry

Antenna Technologies, an NGO based in Geneva, is leading the initiative. Partners are IRC, the Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA) and Aqua for All. Funding is from the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and Aqua for All. 

IRC’s role

In Safe Water Phase 2, IRC is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the business models. The data collected through monitoring will be used by the selected businesses to enhance their business model and inform their marketing strategies. The findings will also be used to promote the scaling up of businesses selling Household Water Treatment and Storage products for people at the base of the economic pyramid.

The business models which will be monitored by IRC include:

HWTS solutions sold in remote villages in Kerala, India, through the nurses’ network

  1. Centralised chlorine production, put into flasks and distributed door to door and through different retailers, NGO’s, Health Centres etc.;
  2. Decentralised chlorine production done by chlorinator agents providing a chlorination service at water collection points, at shops and restaurants and door to door;
  3. Decentralised chlorine production used to treat water which is then bottled and sold through village kiosks;
  4. Manufacturing and sale of ceramic water filters through three complementing sales channels: direct sales, sale through retailers, sale to NGOs.

Safe Water Phase 2 follows on Safe Water Phase 1 which supported the creation of school programmes and most importantly social enterprises in India, Nepal, Cambodia and Guinea Conakry selling safe water products. Some 980,000 people gained access to safe water. 

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