“It all started with a small, creative idea to simplify everyday life. I had this idea, but what would I do with it now? I could not stop thinking about it. So I took the plunge and started.”
-Petra Wadström (winner Swedish Heroes, 2020).
The story of Solvatten has only just begun. In the future, all people will have clean, warm water at home with renewable energy, but the road to get there is still long.
Right now, millions of people have to purify and heat their drinking water by boiling it with wood or charcoal. It is a tiring job that also costs money, takes time and is bad for the environment. But if the water is not clean, there is a great risk that the children will get sick and sometimes die. Statistics from UNICEF/WHO show that about 6,000 children die every day due to lack of hygiene and clean drinking water (WHO/UNICEF 2020). It is a huge tragedy for everyone but there are people and solutions that show the way to a better future.
Swedish Heroes Award
This year, Swedish people nominated over 5,000 candidates for the Swedish Heroes award. A well-known jury then chooses which seven heroes to recognize. The heroes are honored at the Swedish Heroes Gala in December on Aftonbladet.se and on TV3. We’re proud to announce that Petra Wadström, founder of Solvatten, has won the award in the Environmental Hero category.
“In these times, there is a special need to focus on good stories, warmth and care that exist in Swedish Heroes,” said Aftonbladet’s publisher Lena K Samuelsson.
“I would like to extend a big thank you to all those who made it possible, and highlighted and supported the Solvatten project. It is fantastic to see the growing commitment, care and compassion that exists in society. It feels incredibly hopeful for the future. I also want to take the opportunity to pay tribute and thank all those who use Solvatten. They are the real heroes. Their situation is as far removed from modern obviousness as electricity and running clean drinking water, hot from a tap in the home. They are solar heroes who inspire the use of the sun’s power. Their daily use of sunlight to purify and heat water shows in a direct way that a shift in society towards more renewable energy is possible. The climate is a matter of humanity’s fate and role models are needed now and for future generations, ” said Petra Wadström, founder of Solvatten
Measurable impact for humans and the environment
Solvatten is used by 450,000 people in Kenya, Uganda and other countries throughout the world. In addition to better health and life opportunities, the use of solar energy is good for the environment. Trees that do not need to be used for firewood can instead remain and bind CO2. The Solvatten projects reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately half a million tons and preserve a forest area equal to 15,000 soccer fields.
What is Solvatten?
Founded in 2006, Solvatten’s mission is to provide people living in developing countries with safe and hot water in a portable, environmentally friendly way. The Solvatten Solar Safe Water System is a cost-effective solution for use at a household level for millions of people living off-grid.
COVID AND CLIMATE
People in developing countries are having an extra tough time due to the pandemic and climate change is making life even more difficult. The diseases that are now spreading make it even more important to have access to clean water and improved hygiene at home. Solvatten helps by providing both protection and energy for a sustainable future.