Welcome to Solvatten!
Thursday, March 2, 2017
We welcome Charlotte Kohler Lindahl to Solvatten. She has been working at Karolinska Institutet, SIWI and the Folksam Insurance Group. She will be managing the Charitable Foundation and help to set a strategy and to coordinate fundraising activities > together with the newly founded foundation in the USA. Read Charlotte’s thoughts about why Solvatten was a first choice to her:
MY URGE FOR CONCRETE ACTION
My background: With my experience of working with broad collaborations in previous organisations I felt an urge to really dig deeper into what concrete solutions are around which can holistically address many of the UN SDG goals. It´s important not only to me but also for my children and the generation after them to not waste time on too far-fetched goals but also to really be practical about it. I wanted to explore in depth the Solvatten universe that really has such a potential to help millions of people to prosper. The team and I at Solvatten have set an ambitious goal to work to reach the first million users by 2020, today we have reached 250.000, comments Charlotte Kohler Lindahl.
WHATS THE PROBLEM?
Charlotte Köhler Lindahl gives a clear picture of what is involved in accessing safe, hot water.
-All water/humanitarian experts agree that both the availability and affordability of household water treatment products are needed to reach SDG #6, especially in those areas of the world where infrastructure and communities are neglected. But the problem is not that chlorine can´t be found in a street-shop or that people are ignorant or unaware of the importance of cleanliness and having a good hygiene, because of course they do. Living on the base of the pyramid is a deeply undignified situation and having a good hygiene carries a price. It won´t automatically happen without the family (most of the time it´s a woman) taking the cost for hygiene. So the problem lays there, in her daily struggle, and adds:
-A water treatment technology needs to save money, be easily accessible without being forced upon, and better address the struggles of daily life. This is where Solvatten comes in – because it´s not only giving access to safe water, but also hot water. These all have high relevance to health, hygiene and the life situation of a family.
ADVANTAGES OF SAFE, HOT WATER
-It also brings energy and time savings especially to women and girls, (SDG #5). When asking users about the benefits of Solvatten, we are told that the water from Solvatten is of high value because it is hot. It is clear that the off-grid household in the developing world has obviously the same need of safe and hot water as everybody else has. (Approximately 60 % of the water a household uses in Sweden is actually hot). The safe, hot water has also been picked up by many women who use their Solvatten to boost local businesses which creates new opportunities (SDG#8). Looking at the environmental benefits, reducing deforestation and adding renewables to the worlds energy mix (SDG #7) that Solvatten offers, it makes it a win-win case, says Charlotte Köhler Lindahl.
TRUST IS CENTRAL
-As I was previously working at Folksam Insurance Group, I co-initiated an innovative micro-insurance product in Kenya, I travelled around a lot and met so many people living under harsh conditions. I’ve learned what is crucial when having a “change agenda”- that all our differences can be overcome with trust. And trusting a product like Solvatten that holds over time (7-10 years) and has quality, is of essence. The change then comes naturally when experiencing an immediate improvement in health for a family, (SDG#3).
AFTER TRUST – AVAILABILITY.
-This is what we will do now: We will continue our work to support Maternal Health Clinics in Kenya and further build our case and prove our concept to the Ministry of Health. We also are about to create an Emergency Relief Fund – to promptly be ready to reach out in case of any emergency, like we already do in Haiti.
-Happy to be on the Solvatten team! concludes Charlotte Köhler Lindahl.