NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 3 – Residents in Kajiado County are set to benefit from a social enterprise platform that aims to provide safe water access to local communities in Oloitoktok and its environs.
The One Safe Drop Initiative is the brainchild of AfricAqua, a social enterprise outfit with strategic support from Coca-Cola and Water.org.
The initiative aims to capture a commercial opportunity to solve a social problem in unserved urban poor and the low income households through social-private sector models that bring efficiency and technological innovation for sustainable supply of water.
“We drilled and equipped a high yielding borehole with reverse osmosis treatment equipment through a social venture in a modern facility branded AfricAqua. We then adopted a two-tier distribution approach – direct store delivery and the micro-distribution centres (MDCs) using TukTuks to ferry branded returnable 20 litre containers retailing for Sh50,” said David Kuria, AfricAqua CEO.
The water shop is equipped with a customized Pentair water purification system and has the capacity to deliver 20,000 litres of clean drinking water per day and runs on renewable solar power.
In addition, the model uses a mobile App to monitor water sales and out of stocks both for the raw and treated water.
This is one of the projects that beverage giant Coca-Cola, is testing as part of their EKOCENTER initiative.
EKOCENTERs are customizable, entrepreneur-operated retail outlet designed to deliver safe drinking water, electricity, internet access and other essentials to communities in need, mostly in the most hard-to-reach parts of the world.
“We believe in the social enterprise model because everyone benefits. Our bottling partners benefit by having a great relationship with the communities they operate in; the local woman entrepreneur benefits from having a place where she can make money; the community benefits by having access to new services and products; the NGOs benefit by having a physical space in the community to carry out their work; and governments benefit by having healthy communities. In this particular model, the time saved by not having to look for safe drinking water will enable people – especially women and children – to pursue economic, educational and other opportunities,” said Norah Odwesso, Coca-Cola Public Affairs and Communications Director for Central East and West Africa.
In Kenya, over 17 million people lack access to safe water and over 32 million lack access to adequate sanitation.
Kenya is classified as a water scarce country with an annual renewable freshwater supply rate of 647 cubic metres per capita, way below the global standards of 1000 cubic metres.
With increased population growth, it is estimated that the country’s per capita water availability will be 235 cubic metres per year by the year 2025 – nearly about two thirds less than the current levels.