LOCATION: Uganda, with potential to replicate in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo
SUMMARY: SPOUTS was evaluated as a very successful, sustainable distribution model that is scaling up and simultaneously providing water, education, and employment on the ground. The intervention is culturally embedded, provides local manufacturing opportunities, and is elegant in the simplicity and sustainability of the materials and technology. Notably, the enterprise is led by a woman from Uganda.
PROBLEM SPACE: More than 30% of Ugandans or 10 million people lack access to clean drinking water. And water-borne illnesses remain the number one cause of death for children under the age of five. These are merely the direct health results of lack of clean drinking water and doesn’t take into consideration (1) the economic costs of waterborne illnesses, (2) the opportunity cost for the time it takes to fetch and boil water and (3) the burden of fetching and boiling water that disproportionately falls on women and children. It is estimated that women and children spend 140 million hours every day collecting water and account for 76% of the water collection for households (WHO/UNICEF). It is undeniable that many organizations are attempting to rectify this problem. However, solutions based on free distribution and/or large-scale community-based installations are often shortsighted and result in technologies that are left in disrepair. Individuals are left dependent on institutions. SPOUTS of Water started as an attempt to circumvent the cycle of aid and dependence that many clean water solutions seemed to perpetuate.SPOUTS of Water aims to provide clean drinking water access to the millions of Ugandans in need through the local production and planned distribution of affordable and effective ceramic water filters
SOLUTION: SPOUTS takes a market approach, locally manufacturing affordable and effective ceramic water filters that last over 2 years, cost 20USD, and can provide clean drinking water for 10 people or more.These locally manufactured filters have been branded under the name Purifaaya. These 20-liter filters eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and E.Coli, as well as dirt and other impurities in the water, leaving the end result as clean and safe water to drink. The Purifaaya is a sustainable alternative for access to clean drinking water at the household level, saving time and money associated with boiling or buying water. SPOUTS is the only ceramic water filter manufacturer in Uganda, and uses local labor and materials for production and distribution, providing jobs and stimulating the local economy.