Before Susan Mubiru bought a water purification system for her school, Namutebi Nkata Primary in Uganda, she had to find a way to boil water for all of her 516 students. “When we used to boil it, it was never enough. The children would not always have drinking water regularly”. For Susan, and schools across Africa lack of access to safe drinking water is a huge challenge. It doesn’t just mean that children are regularly off sick from school, but unclean water is responsible for the majority of the 1.8 million annual diarrheal caused deaths. In fact, over 40% of diarrheal disease transmission can be attributed to the school environment.
In Uganda, it is very common to boil water for purification. Boiling is not only time-consuming and costly but schools struggle to boil sufficient quantities - many do not treat their water at all. Then there is the environmental impact, wood harvested for cooking and boiling water is one of the major causes of deforestation. The burning of wood in traditional cook stoves not only damages the environment but also negatively impacts human health.
Impact Water is an innovative social business operating in Uganda, Kenya, and Nigeria that is solving this problem at scale. They install and maintain high-performance, water purification systems which use established technologies (such as ultraviolet, automated chlorine, ceramic, and ultrafiltration) and perform effectively for decades with relatively simple, scheduled preventive maintenance.
The best part of all of this? Impact Water’s approach is working.
In Uganda, Impact Water is proud to announce it has now reached over 1,000,000 students and installed systems in over 1,860 schools in over 60 districts across Uganda.
Across Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, Impact Water has installed water purification systems in over 4,000 schools, impacting close to 2 million students in total. The social business has already identified other countries such as Rwanda, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Tanzania as potential target markets for business expansion.
Impact Water operates as a sustainable business, which means that they are much more effective than a charity at solving the problem of access to clean drinking water. Rather than pumping in huge amounts of charitable donations that quickly dry up, a social business provides a product or service to the poor that they need and can pay for at an affordable rate. Impact Water are funded by the innovative venture philanthropy fund Yunus Social Business, founded by Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, which provides concessional loans to allow social businesses to grow.
Tugende is a Social Business that helps mototaxi drivers double their incomes by owning their motorcycles. They have helped over 18,000 motorcycle taxi drivers with higher incomes, including the drivers’ families, that’s over 85,000 people.
So, here we are. The time for change and personal re-shaping through resolutions is upon us already. But this doesn’t just mean an opportunity for personal improvement, it also means a time for professional self-development too.
Have you heard of Giving Tuesday before? It is a movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. Today we are encouraging you to spare what you can to create a better world - for the future of all of us.
The MAN Impact Accelerator #2 isn’t quite over yet and now is your chance to celebrate the journey and the closing of another successful batch.
People in rural and peri-urban Kenya are lacking access to high-quality healthcare and medication. Less than 5% of Kenya’s GDP is spent on healthcare and only 17% of Kenyans have health insurance coverage. With 46% of the country’s population living below the poverty line, Kenyans are particularly vulnerable to financial catastrophe when facing health issues.
Today, the world’s first Social Success Note or "SSN" is launched at the Skoll World Forum by Yunus Social Business, The Rockefeller Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation and Impact Water.