According to the World Health Organisation, 844 million people don’t have access to clean water. As a result, a newborn dies from infection caused by lack of safe water every minute, and a child under five dies from diarrhoea every two minutes.
One man who is determined to help improve these statistics is Philip Wilson, founder and CEO of Ecofiltro, a business that has a very clear social objective: To reach one million rural Guatemalans with clean water by the year 2020. The filters give rural communities the ability to pour contaminated local water from streams or ponds in the top of the filter and, after a few minutes, drink pure, filtered clean water from the tap at the bottom. The science that makes this possible is a combination of fired clay, sawdust and colloidal silver, which, once activated, creates 100% purified water.
Philip realised that the problem of access to clean drinking water could not effectively be dealt with from the donation dependent model. He quickly decided that Ecofiltro should be a social business, so he developed a hybrid approach where urban sales of filters would serve to finance the distribution of rural filters at an affordable price. Philip found that charging a very small amount for the filters ensured that they were valued by the families using them and promoted better adoption.
In April 2012, a new Ecofiltro factory was launched. To date, Ecofiltro has distributed over 250,000 filters throughout Guatemala and expanded sales and operations into the US, Europe and Mexico. Today, these filters are in over 1,600 schools in Guatemala and have provided nearly 500,000 children with clean drinking water.
Edwin Broni-Mensah, founder of Give Me Tap, is another Global Shaker who is on a mission to bring clean drinking water to the world. Remembering his father’s stories of growing up in Ghana without access to clean drinking water and frustrated by how few cafes and restaurants would let him fill up his water bottle, this young entrepreneur decided to kill two birds with one stone.
The UK-based start up has now built a network of cafes, bars and restaurants that will offer to refill your Give Me Tap water bottle for free. Furthermore, every bottle sold gives someone in Africa clean drinking water for five years. To date, they have brought clean drinking water to nearly 25,000 people in Ghana, Malawi and Namibia. Happier still, they have also made redundant the need for the equivalent of over 44 million plastic water bottles.
Give Me Tap
Give Me Tap