Interview with Petra Wadström

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

It is a chilly morning in Stockholm. Here, from a small, very cosy office, Swedish microbiologist and artist, Petra Wadström (1952), skypes daily with NGOs and governments from all over the world. Petra is the inventor of a cutting-edge water treatment and heating system, which has won many international awards and which is saving thousands of lives across the planet.

This enterprising woman has managed to harness the power of sunlight in order to purify and heat water for those who are in greatest need, especially those communities living off the grid. She has succeeded in designing a simple, but highly effective, system which is now improving the lives of many people in the developing world. This water treatment and heating system is designed like a 10 litre jerry can. Basically, it is a portable container which opens out into two halves, like a book. These sections have transparent lids which expose the water to direct sunlight and this simple procedure is the secret of her invention.

As the sun rays pass through these transparent lids, they break the linkeages of the DNA of toxic micro-organisms. As a result, the water becomes safe within a few hours of exposure. At the same time the warmth of the sun is absorbed by the can and it heats up the water to a high temperature thus making it safe for hygienic purposes. Midwives and doctors in Mali, Kenya and other African countries use Solvatten water for their medical procedures and operations.

Petra and her team know they are saving lives. They work tirelessly to reach those who live in challenging circumstances, such as those who are in refugee camps in countries like Jordan and Kenya. Despite her 67 years Petra is extremely active and bubbling with enthusiasm. She’s the kind of person who never misses the chance to talk to people at government level, or with embassies, aid agencies, NGOs and UN programmes in order to make her invention known and accessible to the most impoverished people in the world.

Last April, Petra was thrilled when a group of Sudanese women from the University of Ahfad signed a contract to take the Solvatten jerry cans to the rural areas of the country enabling Sudanese midwives to access safe water when they work. Further good news came during one of the most critical political turmoils of this East African country when, the long-serving ruler Omar al-Bashir, was overthrown. Since then Sudan has been embroiled in a political crisis. Security forces killed dozens of people last June in the capital, Khartoum. All this started about a year ago. Last December cuts to bread, together with fuel subsidies, led people to take to the streets in protest. Now, after months of instability, food security is compromised in this troubled Nile basin country.

Petra is concerned. She has been following the events in Sudan closely for the past year. The first thing she says is: “many historical humanitarian crises start with a rise in the price of bread and very little is done”.

In your view, what could governments do to stop bread inflation?

Well, in countries, where wood is still the main source of fuel, we can use the sun, which is free. In the Western countries we take our bread and water for granted, but in arid and semi- arid countries in the developing world, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, that comes at a huge cost to the environment. Earlier in the year we visited Kenya and talked to women who sold the bread they produced thanks to the hot water from the Solvatten jerry cans. The water which is treated by sunlight reaches the optimum temperature for yeast to rise. One enterprising Kenyan mother earns up to $300 a month by selling the bread she makes with Solvatten water. The money she saves is spent on firewood. Moreover, she has more profits and can spend more time selling her bread on the streets instead of looking for, fetching or buying firewood. In addition, she’s contributing to environmental protection by preserving trees and thus improving the lives of her children.

Is clean energy part of the big picture to end poverty?

Of course it is. For example, at Solvatten, we are committed to advance the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We tackle all of them. We work hard with aid agencies, development programmes, governments and NGOs to ensure that our technology is used in a positive sense thus creating a strong environmental and social impact. That said, it’s true that clean energy should play a bigger role in some of the SDGs. For example, with the SDG 6 (Water and Sanitation) the link between clean energy and hygiene is not being sufficiently addressed. In fact hot water fails to be an indicator in terms of hygiene in SDG6. The indicators used to show the progress of this goal focus on people having access to soap and water. However soap does not dissolve as well in cold water as it does in hot water, and cold water is unsafe when washing vegetables contaminated with parasites.

Why is hot water not included in the SDG6?

I don’t know, but I have raised this question many times. In fact the hygiene aspect in the SDGs is not well developed. This may well be because the link between water and energy has not yet been fully addressed. We have demonstrated that, by harnessing the sun, we can access hot water and this is something huge if we want to improve hygiene. In New Zealand, for example, a study was conducted in a school whereby some children used hot water and soap to wash their hands. Other children washed their hands with cold water and soap. Both groups were separated. It was shown that the number of infections was reduced when hot water was used. This is very simple. Not only does soap dissolve better in hot water, but children spend more time washing their hands with hot water. Also, washing vegetables with hot water is much safer for families, particularly if they want to avoid diseases related to intestinal parasites, etc.

But people can use iodine, chlorine or bleach to wash vegetables, can’t they?

When water is boiled or chlorinated it looses some of its most important properties. And we should remember that poor quality water affects nutrition. If children do not get enough nutrients they are more vulnerable to diseases. This is especially important for children under five years old. In Kakuma, Kenya, we carried out studies on how Solvatten water had affected public health and we observed that the number of intestinal parasites, cutaneous and ocular infections was reduced. In addition, the cold water with soap that is mentioned in the objective of sustainable development for water and hygiene does not take into account the main food washing cause of transmission of cholera and dysentery. In many cases, water is left under the sun to disinfect, which means that some micro-organisms continue to multiply. Often, in the discussions about access to safe water, it appears that too much attention is paid to giving access to improved water rather than to the actual quality of the water. This is noticeable when it comes to hygiene.

From the visits that you have made all over the world, which objectives have been met?

[Without hesitating Petra points to a photograph on the wall of a young African woman with a baby]. That picture is of a mother with her newborn baby in a village north of Bamako in Mali, just outside the maternity clinic. The water well that supplied this clinic previously was contaminated with parasites. Seeing the mothers return safely with their healthy babies was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I have four children and, as a  mother, I understand perfectly what it means to protect a baby. In these moments you realize that we are all equal, and that gives me a lot of energy to try to bring my invention to those who need it most. Hot water is still not on the agenda in sustainable development goals, but it is a crucial factor in the prevention of disease. I insisted on raising this issue when I was a panelist in the Nobel (Prize) Week Dialogue, which took place last year in Stockholm. We have also shown how NGOs can educate farmers on how to milk their cows with clean hands, in order to make the milk safer and last longer.

This invention is designed for poor families who do not have access to running water or electricity. However, it costs around 90 euros and this may be relatively high for these families. How do you ensure that these jerry cans are affordable to the recipients?

The Solvatten jerry cans are usually marketed in a subsidized manner through international institutions, governments and NGOs because they have to reach the neediest. My non-profit company usually visits the projects in which the NGOs distribute the jerry cans in order to ensure that families can afford them and are making the most of them

Greta Thunberg has become a global icon for environmental activism and climate justice. You vindicated the concept of climate justice at the famous Climate Change Summit, COP21, which took place in Paris in 2015. You work with large Swedish corporations and international organizations. What have you learnt from your experience when connecting the economies of Northern Europe with the development challenges of the less developed nations ?

There are several low energy solutions aimed at generating enough energy to produce light or charge a mobile phone. But is that really what people in rural areas need? Or should we work harder to bring clean energy to help them refrigerate their food? Now to do this, you need to have enough energy to refrigerate food, to put a kettle on and then you need up to four solar panels or four sets of twelve batteries. All this relates to time. Women in developing nations should be freed from some of their time-consuming family burdens, of the time so that they can truly develop and become more empowered. In addition, access to hot water is a matter of dignity and it should be available to everyone. We need to listen to people and to understand what they really need. We must be more respectful and more humble.

In an interview with the BBC, you mentioned the importance of securing renewable energy resources for poor developing families. This included solar panels and water treatment systems like the one you created. Can your invention inspire people in developing counties to introduce more integrated systems of power generation and water treatment?

I have participated in numerous discussion panels in order  to inspire future entrepreneurs to take advantage of solar energy. If there are problems, there must always be solutions, but these have to be modest. For example, at an Ugandan university, water is sold in glass, as opposed to plastic, and the water source was purified by solar energy. This kind of environmental care is extremely important.

Finally, if you were allowed to draft a global regulation for the United Nations on sustainable development, what would it do?

One of the fundamental points in environmental development relates to the search for gaps. When you draw a sketch, you must locate the gaps, the empty spaces. Imagine that you are you drawing a sketch for sustainable development; making time for women is one of those gaps, and values are the empty spaces, while the body of your plan would be the return of social investment. For example, in Mali, it was proved that cows that were able to shelter under shade of the trees produced up to four litres of milk, while those that did not have access to shade produced less than two litres. People need to understand that this issue of shade is crucial and valuable. These challenges are the consequences of climate change. In addition we have to protect the forests. When women in developing countries have more time they will be able to create a real impact. Basically, family burdens must be reduced so that woman can develop and be more empowered. There was a study in Canada, in the 1950s, which showed that women spent 56 hours a week doing housework. However, currently in Canada, they only spend 14 hours a week doing housework. But the Canadian situation of the 1950s still exists in many developing countries. The washing machine, for example, is one of the inventions that liberated women. The developing world needs the example of those women who have access to these labour and time saving devices. 

A Microbiologist’s Journey Aimed at Saving Lives and Bringing Dignity

A trip to Indonesia changed the life of Swedish microbiologist and artist, Petra Wadström (a 67 year old from Stockholm) who had escaped from the long, gloomy Swedish winters and travelled to Australia with her young family. From there she grasped the opportunity to travel around many Southeast Asian countries. As a mother of four children she witnessed with concern, and at first hand, the appalling conditions in which disadvantaged rural women gave birth. At the same time, a question which had been with her for the years following her arrival in Australia kept on bothering her. The question was: ‘why not take advantage of the abundance of the sun to purify and heat water?’.

Following this, she began to put into practice her vast knowledge of microbiology. After years of research, laboratory work, and carrying out pilot studies, Petra found the solution to her problem. It is interesting to note that she had already worked at the Swiss University of Lausanne with Jacques Dubochet, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry of 2017 for his work in the field of cryptology.

At first glance her invention is simple. It is a black jerry can which opens out into two halves, each half is protected by a transparent cover. So, once its drum is filled with water, it opens like a book and is then put in direct sunlight so that the water is exposed to the light coming through the covers. After a few hours the water is heated to an optimum temperature so that it can be safely used for surgical operations, simply because it is now free of toxic organisms and capable of maintaining the properties necessary for human health. Currently, Petra’s amazing invention is operating in twenty countries, and the United Nations distributes it in refugee camps such as the one in Kakuma, in Kenya and Azraq in Jordan.

Petra receives endless invitations asking her to participate in forums and on expert panels in places as diverse as New York, Qatar and Delhi. Despite her aimiable and straighforward persona, she is a woman who features in the Forbes list and who Barack Obama personally chose to talk about her ground-breaking invention. Most importantly, her creation has benefited more than 350,000 people worldwide and saved millions of trees.

Despite the positive global impact of her invention Petra remains uneasy with the situation facing those rural women in developing countries who she continues to visit regularly. The microbiologist is clear: sustainable development is only possible if women are given more time to themselves.

Valeur Partagée

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Tout le Monde Peut Contribuer

Ce sont des conditions simples telles que l’accouchement dans un hôpital, la plantation d’arbres ou la construction de latrines dans leurs communautés, entre autres. En fixant ces exigences, les ONG peuvent être plus incitées à travailler dans les domaines de la santé publique, de l’éducation et de la protection de l’environnement.  

En tant qu’entreprise sociale, Solvatten soutient des initiatives menées par la communauté pour travailler sur le développement durable. Selon Petra Wadström, inventeur et fondateur de Solvatten, ce soutien est l’un des principes clés de Solvatten:

«Je suis une fervente partisane de l’auto-assistance, il est donc important que ceux que nous essayons de joindre se mobilisent également pour apporter quelque soit leur contribution pour Solvatten.Cela signifiera qu’il sera utilisé plus fréquemment, plus apprécié et qu’il sera pris en charge.», explique Petra Wadström.

La Collaboration est la Clé du Succès

Nous sommes vraiment inspirés par les progrès réalisés par nos partenaires pour atteindre les Objectifs du Developpment Global [SDGs dans son accronyme en anglais]. Cependant, le compte à rebours est prévu pour 2030 afin d’éliminer l’extrême pauvreté et nous ne voulons rater aucune occasion d’aider à faire progresser les travaux de différentes organisations en faveur du développement durable et de la décarbonisation.

Solvatten doit inciter d’autres entrepreneurs et innovateurs à faire entendre leur voix et à proposer d’excellentes solutions pour lutter contre le changement climatique!  

Créer de la Valeur Ensemble

Solvatten peut ajouter plusieurs valeurs qui sont faciles à mesurer. Nous pensons que tout projet dans lequel nous voudrions participer a une composante de partage des coûts. Il est important que nous partagions les efforts et que chacun contribue avec quelque chose pour avoir un impact positif et durable. Un conseil général est que lorsque les gens s’inscrivent à un projet, ils paient les frais d’inscription pour couvrir une partie des coûts de fonctionnement du projet.

Vous pouvez lire ci-dessous des exemples pour les différents domaines de partage des coûts avec des ONG et des organisations gouvernementales. On espère qu’ils pourront vous donner de nouvelles idées afin de mieux calculer votre impact et comment Solvatten peut ajouter de la valeur à votre mission.


ONG de Reboisement et Services Forestiers Gouvernamentaux

Pour obtenir les jerricans Solvatten, les utilisateurs doivent préserver les arbres.

En Ouganda, Solvatten , a travaillé en partenariat avec EcoTrust Uganda and Chain, des organisations locales qui identifient les problèmes environnementaux en Ouganda et travaillent directement avec les communautés ces problèmes. Solvatten a aidé ces organisations à réduire la déforestation en distribuant des jerricans Solvatten. Eco Trust calcule la quantité de bois de chauffage évitée de brûler des arbres et calcule le dioxyde de carbone économisé … En savoir plus

… Et calculez le nombre de crédits et les utiliser pour rendre Solvatten jerrican plus abordable pour les utilisateurs. En savoir plus à propos de ce partenariat dans cette vidéo [en anglais].  

En Ouganda,, l’impact de Solvatten sur les individus et les communautés a été très fort. Par exemple, une cuisinière locale d’un petit hôtel, Nakanja Masitula, qui devait faire bouillir l’eau pour ses clients, pourrait économiser davantage et avoir plus de clients grâce à Solvatten. 

Au Kenya, Solvatten a collaboré au projet d’agroforesterie VI Sustainable Energy VI, dans le comté de Bungoma, l’une des régions les plus pauvres où de vastes forêts sont devenues des terres incultes. Solvatten a contribué à réduire la déforestation en empêchant les agriculteurs de couper des arbres pour le bois de chauffage afin de faire bouillir leur eau, tout en ajoutant de la valeur au projet de reboisement déjà existant dirigé par le VI Agroforestry Project. To get Solvatten jerry cans users need to preserve the trees. Pour obtenir les jerricans Solvatten, les utilisateurs doivent préserver les arbres. En savoir plus sur cette collaboration dans cette vidéo[en anglais].

 En Haïti, après le tremblement de terre dévastateur de 2010, qui a entraîné différentes épidémies de choléra, Solvatten a participé, en 2011, au projet Green Haiti. 

Le parc national La Visite été dévasté par le séisme. C’était une source d’eau pour 4 millions de personnes et un lieu unique pour la faune et la flore, avec un taux de biodiversité élevé et un potentiel pour les entreprises écologiques, le tourisme écologique, la recherche et le développement des universités.  

Solvatten faisait partie d’une solution multi-énergie visant à sauver les arbres de ce parc national. La fondation a également distribué des lampes solaires et un fourneau écologique à énergie efficace afin de soutenir la construction d’Haïti et de permettre aux femmes locales de gérer leurs petites entreprises ( c.-à-d. stands de nourriture de rue) et de participer au développement de l’économie locale.  

Ce projet commun a profité à un million d’Haïtiens en fournissant des cuisinières à haut rendement énergétique, des lampes solaires portables et un système solar d’eau potable Solvatten avec la Fondation Seguin. Cette ONG axée sur le développement durable a été créée en 2004 par un groupe de jeunes professionnels locaux et d’hommes d’affaires haïtiens qui souhaitent faire une réelle différence pour l’avenir de leur pays. Et c’est urgent car la dégradation continue de l’environnement en Haïti menace de déstabiliser ce pays déjà fragile.  

* Les coûts de planter un arbre et prendre soin de sa croissance: 5 $.

ONG et Organisations Gouvernementales Travaillant dans le Secteur de la Santé Publique

Solvatten, une incitation pour les mères à accoucher à la clinique et à vacciner leurs enfants.

Dans le sud du Kenya, près de Mombasa, Solvatten a collaboré avec le Kinondo Kwetu Trust Fund, un centre de santé privé créé pour aider les communautés locales à bénéficier de services de santé de base. Solvatten a collaboré pour enrayer l’augmentation des maladies d’origine hydrique chez les enfants de moins de cinq ans. Ces familles avaient des conditions telles que l’accouchement à la clinique et la vaccination des enfants, s’ils n’avaiaent pas rempli leur engagement ils devaient retourner les jerricans à la clinique pour aider d’autres familles. Veuillez en apprendre plus sur cette collaboration dans cet article. En savoir plus

La clinique a été créée pour répondre aux besoins criants en soins de santé de base, traitement du paludisme, du VIH, de la tuberculose, des parasites, des soins prénatals, des accouchements, des soins prénatals, des vaccinations et des informations médicales..Avec le soutien de donateurs privés, une contribution de 276 Solvatten été distribuée à six cent familles, soit environ quatre mille personnes.Ce sont des familles particulièrement vulnérables, où les enfants souffrent de malnutrition, d’hygiène et de qualité de l’eau.AuMali, Solvatten, collaboré avec Plan International pour améliorer la santé des écoles et des hôpitaux. Au Kenya, nous avons collaboré avec l’école primaire INGRID (voir les images et les films sur flickr).En améliorant la santé des enfants, Solvatten incitait les écoles à assurer la présence des élèves.* 40 $ est le coût annuel des soins de santé par personne dans la région subsaharienne.

ONG et Organisations Gouvernementales dans le Domaine de l’Assainissement

Afin d’obtenir les jerricans Solvatten les familles devaient construire et entretenir les installations d’assainissement.

Au Kenya, Solvatten a collaboré avec IKARE Ltd, Royaume-Uni, EUNISCA-SSPP, en coopération avec des organisations à base communautaire (Community Based Organizations, CBOs, dans son acronyme en anglais) dans le bidonville de Kikoni. Cette collaboration était une initiative d’hygiène et d’assainissement visant à améliorer l’accès à l’eau potable pour ces communautés. Afin de se procurer des jerricans Solvatten, les familles avaient besoin de construire et d’entretenir les installations sanitaires. En savoir plus dans cet article. *Infrastructures d’hygiène par an dans une école au Kenya coûte $ 108.

Soutenir les Coopératives des  Agriculteurs 

Les agriculteurs doivent intercaler des arbres dans leur plantations pour obtenir les jerricans Solvatten.

Au Kenya, Solvatten a collaboré avec des coopératives de producteurs de sucre et de café. Solvatten a amélioré les conditions de vie des agriculteurs souffrant d’une mauvaise alimentation en eau, afin d’améliorer leur bien-être, leur santé et leur prospérité, en renforçant le changement de valeur et en apportant une valeur ajoutée aux coopératives de femmes et aux organisations locales de producteurs de café. Les jerricans Solvatten ont été distribués à condition que les agriculteurs s’occupent des arbres intercalaires. Celles-ci sont essentielles pour donner de l’ombre aux bus de café. * Au Kenya, un caféier peut produire 40 kg de café au cours de sa vie.En savoir plus dans la vidéo suivante.

Incitation à Groupes de Prêts et d’Épargne

Pour obtenir les jerricans Solvatten  les femmes devaient s’engager dans leurs coopératives locales.

À Bungoma, au Kenya, Solvatten a collaboré avec une coopérative dirigée par des femmes. Les jerrycans incitaient les femmes à s’inscrire dans cette coopérative où elles peuvent avoir accès à de petits prêts pour soutenir leurs économies nationales. En savoir plus dans cette  vidéo.

Aide Humanitaire

Fournir de l’énergie aux personnes touchées par une crise humanitaire, c’est-à-dire des camps de réfugiés, est coûteux. Solvatten peut réduire les coûts énergétiques tout en aidant les réfugiés à recommencer une nouvelle vie après la crise humanitaire.

Au Kenya et en Ouganda , Solvatten a été approvisionné dans des camps de réfugiés. En Ouganda, le UNHCR soutient les bénéficiaires dans les zones d’installation de réfugiés, la communauté d’accueil, les points frontières et les centres de santé de Palabek Kal. Ces utilisateurs devaient assumer la responsabilité d’utiliser et de stocker l’eau en toute sécurité lorsque cela était possible. En savoir plus ici.

Eau, Assainissement et Hygiène

Incitation à améliorer les normes d’hygiène et les habitations. 

Au Mali, un partenariat a été mis en place avec Water and Sanitation for Africa. Pour aider Solvatten, les utilisateurs ont été aidés à améliorer la construction de la cuisine et à stocker l’eau en toute sécurité. C’était la condition pour conserver les jerricans Solvatten.

Avantages pour le Personnel

Une vie saine garantit un meilleur lieu de travail et de meilleurs résultats. De nombreuses ONG utilisent Solvatten sur leurs lieux de travail situés dans des zones rurales. Ils économisent de l’argent en achetant de l’eau en bouteille tout en réduisant les déchets plastiques.

En Ouganda, Kakira Sugar Works Ltd utilise Solvatten pour créer un environnement de travail sûr pour les employés et le public, ainsi qu’un lieu de travail et des foyers sains.



Construire la Confiance

Solvatten a passé 10 ans de construction savoir-faire, expérience et preuves autour du concept; nous constatons un impact, nous avons gagné en reconnaissance, en acceptation et nous avons créé la confiance des ONG, des gouvernements, des groupes communautaires, des institutions universitaires et des donateurs. Nous recherchons des partenariats avec des organisations œuvrant dans les domaines de la santé, de la foresterie et du climat, ainsi qu’avec des prestataires de services de micro-paiement à l’utilisation, afin de pouvoir offrir à nos utilisateurs, organisations et gouvernements les outils nécessaires pour faire des progrès positifs dans la vie et la société.

Solvatten est un fournisseur accrédité de 18 organisations des Nations Unies (telles que l’UNICEF, le PNUE, la FAO, le PAM et le PNUD) 6 et plus de 15 ONG de renom ont mené des projets utilisant cette technologie.

Divers projets ont été mis en œuvre en utilisant Solvatten comme composant clé. Nous continuons d’explorer et d’étendre la portée de Solvatten à travers divers projets et modèles de distribution. Nous sommes particulièrement intéressés à collaborer avec ONG et organisations gouvernementales travaillent dans ces domaines:

  • Programmes WASH
  • VIH / cliniques SIDA
  • Santé / cliniques de maternité
  • Projets de climat / d’efficacité énergétique
  • Jeunes entrepreneurs
  • Epargne et prêts Groupes
  • Programmes de nutrition

Partenariats Avec Solvatten pour Faire Progrès

Solvatten aborde défis mondiaux tels que la pauvreté, les inégalités et le changement climatique. Depuis 2007, Solvatten a lancé 45 projets touchant plus de 300.000 personnes vivant dans plus de 20 pays en développement. Dès le début, Solvatten a travaillé en collaboration avec des ONG et des gouvernements pour faire progresser le développement durable dans les pays où les familles n’ont pas d’infrastructure de base.

Unissons nos forces et travaillons ensemble pour le changement!

Envoyez-nous un email à: info@solvatten.org

Shared Value

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Everybody Can Contribute

These are simple conditions such as giving birth at a hospital, plant trees or build latrines in their communities, among others. By setting these requirements NGOs can have more incentives to deliver their work in public health, education and the protection of the environment. 

As a social enterprise Solvatten supports community led initiatives to work on sustainable development. This support is one of the key principles at Solvatten, as Petra Wadström, inventor and founder of Solvatten, says:

“I’m a firm believer in self help, so it’s important that those we’re trying to reach out to also contribute with something for Solvatten. This will mean that it will be used more frequently, appreciated more and that it will be taken care of.

Collaboration is Key to Ensure Success

We feel really inspired by the progress that our partners are making to meet the SGDs Goals. However, the clock is counting down for 2030 to eradicate extreme poverty and we do not want to miss any opportunity to help advancing the work of different organisations towards sustainable development and decarbonisation.

Solvatten shall inspire other entrepreneurs and innovators to raise their voice and come up with great solutions to address climate change! 

Creating Value Together

Solvatten can add multiple values that are easy to measure. We believe that any project we would like to engage with has cost sharing as a component. It is important that we share the efforts and that everyone contributes with something to make a successful and sustained impact. A general advice is when people are enrolling to a project that they pay the enrolling fee to cover some of the project operating costs.

Please read below examples for the different areas of cost-sharing with NGOs and Government Organisations. Hopefully they can trigger new ideas for you to better calculate your impact and how Solvatten can add value to your mission.


Reforestation NGOs and Departments of Forestry

To get Solvatten jerry cans users need to preserve the trees.

In Uganda, Solvatten has worked in partnership with EcoTrust Uganda and Chain ,local organisations that identify the environmental issues around Uganda and work directly with the communities experiencing those issues. Solvatten helped these organisations to reduce deforestation by distributing Solvatten jerry cans. Eco Trust calculates the amount of firewood that has been avoided from burning trees and they work out the carbon dioxide that has been saved … Learn more

… and calculate the number of credits and use that to make the Solvatten unit more affordable for users. about this partnership in this video.  

In Uganda, the impact of Solvatten on individuals and communities was really strong. For example, a local cook for a small hotel, Nakanja Masitula who needed to boil the water for her customers, could save more money and have more clients thanks to Solvatten.  

In Kenya, Solvatten collaborated with Sustainable energy VI Agroforestry Project, in Bungoma County, one of the poorest regions where vast forests have become a wasteland. Solvatten helped to reduce deforestation preventing farmers from cutting down trees for firewood to boil their water while adding value to the already existing reforestation project led by VI Agroforestry Project. To get Solvatten jerry cans users need to preserve the trees. Learn more about this collaboration in this video.

 In Haiti, after the devastating earthquake of 2010, which led to different outbreaks of cholera, Solvatten participated, in 2011, in The Green Haiti Project.  

Parc National La Visite was under severe devastation after the earthquake. It was a water source for 4 million people and a unique place for fauna and flora, with high rate of biodiversity and a place for a potential for Eco Enterprises, Eco Tourism, Universities Research and Development.  

Solvatten was part of a multi energy solution to save the trees in this national park, and the foundation also distributed solar lights and an envirovert energy efficient cookstove in an attempt to support the build up of Haiti and empowering local women to manage their small businesses (i.e. street food stalls) and to engage in the development of the local economy.  

This joint project benefited one million Haitians by providing energy efficient cook stoves, portable solar lamps and Solvatten-Solar Safe Water System. with Fondation Seguin. This sustainability-driven NGO was created 2004 by a group of young local professionals and Haitian businessmen who want to make a real difference for the future of their country. And it is urgent since the continuing degradation of Haiti’s environment is threatening to destabilise the already fragile country.  

* Costs for planting a tree and caring for its growth $ 5.

NGOs and Government Organisations Working in Public Health

Solvatten, an incentive for mothers to give birth in the clinic and vaccinate their children.

In southern Kenya, near Mombasa, Solvatten collaborated with Kinondo Kwetu Trust Fund, which is a private health clinic that has been set up to help the local communities with basic health services. Solvatten collaborated to stop the increase of waterborne diseases in children under five-year-old. There were conditions for these families such as giving birth at the clinic and vaccinating the children, had they failed of doing so they had to return the jerry cans to the clinic to help other families.  Please learn more about this collaboration in this article. Learn more

The clinic was established to meet the strong need for basic health care, treatment of malaria, HIV, TB, parasites, prenatal care, deliveries, ante-natal care, vaccinations and health information.With the support from private donors a contribution of 276 Solvatten was distributed to six hundred families, around four thousand people.They are especially vulnerable families, where children suffer from malnutrition, hygiene is poor and water quality is poor.

In Mali, Solvatten, work with Plan International to improve the health of schools and hospitals. In Kenya, we collaborated with INGRID primary school (please see pictures and film on flickr.  ).

By improving the health of children, Solvatten was an incentive at schools to ensure students attendance.

* $ 40 is the annual cost for health care per person in the Sub-Saharan region.

NGOs and Government Organisations Working in Sanitation

To get Solvatten jerry cans families needed to build and maintain the sanitation facilities.

In Kenya, Solvatten collaborated with IKARE Ltd, UK, EUNISCA-SSPP in co-operation with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in the Kikoni Slum. This collaboration was a hygiene and sanitation initiative to improve access to clean water for these communities. In order to get Solvatten jerry cans families needed to build and maintain the sanitation facilities. Learn more in this article. * Hygiene infrastructure per year in a Kenyan school costs $ 108.

Supporting Farmer Cooperatives

To get Solvatten farmers need to intercrop trees.

In Kenya, Solvatten collaborated with sugar and coffee grower cooperatives. Solvatten improved the lives for farmers suffering from poor water, to improve their wellbeing, health and prosperity, strengthening the value change and adding value to women cooperatives and local coffee farmer organisations. Solvatten jerry cans were distributed provided that farmers were caring for the intercropping trees. These are vital to give shade to the coffee buses. * A coffee plant in Kenya can produce 40 kilograms of coffee in its life.Please learn more in the following video. 

Incentive to Enrol in Loans and Savings Groups

To get Solvatten women needed to engage in their local cooperatives.

In Bungoma, in Kenya, Solvatten collaborated with a women led cooperative. The jerry cans were an incentive for women to enrol in this cooperative where they can have access to small loans to sustain their domestic economies. Learn more in this video. 

Humanitarian Aid

Providing energy to people in a humanitarian crisis, i.e. refugee camps, is costly, Solvatten can reduce energy cost while helping refugees to start a new life when the humanitarian crisis is over.

In Kenya and Uganda , Solvatten has been supplied in refugee camps. In Uganda UNHCR supports beneficiaries in the refugees settlement, host community, boarder points and health centres of Palabek Kal. These users needed to take responsibility to use and to store the water safely when this is possible. Please learn more here.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Incentivising to improve hygiene standards and homes.

In Mali a partnership was set up with Water and Sanitation for Africa. To get Solvatten users were supported to improve kitchen building and to storage water safely. This was the condition to keep Solvatten jerry cans.

Benefits for Staff

Healthy life ensures a better work place and results. Many NGOs use Solvatten in their working places in rural compounds. They save money from buying bottled water while reducing plastic waste.

In Uganda, Kakira Sugar Works Ltd uses Solvatten to provide a safe working environment for the employees and the public as well as, a healthy work place and homes. 


Building Trust

Solvatten has spent 10 years of building know-how, experience and evidence around the concept; we see impact, we have gained recognition, acceptance and we have build trust from NGO’s, Governments, community groups, academic institutions and donors. We seek partnerships with health, forestation and climate orientated organisations  as well as micro pay-as you-go service providers so that we can offer our users, organisations and governments the tools they need to make positive progress on life and society.

Solvatten is an accredited supplier to 18 UN organisations (such as UNICEF, UNEP, FAO, WFP and UNDP) 6 and more than 15 renowned NGO’s have conducted projects with the technology. 

A variety of projects have been implemented using Solvatten as a key component. We continue to explore and expand the reach of  Solvatten through various projects and distribution models. We are especially interested in collaborating with NGOs and Government Organisations working in these areas:

  • WASH programmes
  • HIV/AIDS clinics
  • Health/maternity clinics
  • Climate/energy efficiency projects
  • Youth Entrepreneurs
  • Savings and Loans Groups
  • Nutrition programs

Partnering with Solvatten to Make Progress

Solvatten addresses global challenges such as poverty, inequality and climate change. Since 2007, Solvatten has  initiated 45 projects reaching out over 300.000 people living in more than 20 developing countries. Right from the beginning Solvatten has worked in collaboration with NGOs and governments to advance sustainable development in countries where families do not have basic infrastructure.

Let’s join forces and work together for change!

Email us to: info@solvatten.org

Voulez-Vous Prendre Soin des Arbres? Utilisez l’Énergie Solaire

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Jordi Albacete – Journaliste, spécialisé en environnement.

Le traitement de l’eau à la lumière du soleil pour le rendre potable et chaud, sauve des vies, améliore la santé et empêche les arbres d’être coupés pour le bois de chauffage.

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Safe Water for Children for a Better and Affordable Health

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Swedish solar water purifier and heating system Solvatten collaborated, in 2016, with Kinondo Kwetu Clinic in Southern Kenya to improve health and hygiene in malnourished children.  Two years later the impact of Solvatten jerry cans on the health of children in this region has been dramatic.

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