Access to water and energy strongly connects to several social, ecological, and economic challenges. In rural Kenya, most of the population lack access to safe water at home. The lack of electricity complicates the situation further since it makes people dependent on firewood and charcoal. About 70% of the energy used in Sub-Saharan households relates to families’ need to treat, heat, and boil water for drinking, hygiene, cleaning, and cooking.
This human dependence on fuelwood causes deforestation, CO2 emissions, and a negative impact on biological diversity and essential ecosystem services. Natural water regulation, soil formation, and surrounding vegetation support livelihoods and agriculture, especially at critical risk.
Inequalities for women and girls
For families living on scarce resources, collecting firewood and buying charcoal is expensive and time-consuming. In 8 out of 10 cases, women and children are responsible for fetching water and firewood for the household due to cultural norms. In the evenings, women and girls risk being exposed to violence and abuse when walking the long distances needed. To perform these household chores in the daytime, many girls and women skip classes in school or hours from work.
This socio-ecological pattern creates an unsustainable living situation for people and the environment. Due to these combined challenges, many people take the risk of consuming untreated water, resulting in water and hygiene-related diseases. This causes high numbers of sick days for both children and adults, which leads to school absences for students and difficulties for parents to provide for their families. Due to the scarcity of safe, warm water for health and hygiene, millions of women struggle to rise out of poverty.
Solvatten is a sustainable option
Solvatten is an innovative solution that treats and heats water with solar energy. The synergetic effect of pasteurization and ultraviolet light destroys the formation of the DNA linkages in the cells. This prevents the microorganisms from reproducing, which makes them harmless.
As Solvatten provides access to safe and hot water at home, it reduces the risk of falling ill due to waterborne and hygiene-related diseases. In addition, the heated water from Solvatten is helpful for both cooking, hygiene, and domestic use. That contributes to further health benefits since a warm bath, or a safe face wash helps eliminate germs. This prevents cases of skin diseases and other infections.