Every year ”Tech For Global Good” acknowledges four innovators from all over the world that have created or uses technology to make the world a better place. These four will be represented in an annual exhibition at The Tech Museum that has over 130.000 visitors each year. This year, Swedish Solvatten is part of the prestigious exhibition amongst Zipline International, AI4ALL and Amandla Mobi.
These four initiatives have in common that they show that technology can make a big difference in people’s lives. Amandla Mobi, which is a digital platform used by 200.000 women in South Africa to improve women’s safety and prevent sexual violence against women. Zipline International can through an intelligent drone system deliver medicine to pregnant women in Rwanda and Ghana. AI4ALL aims to make AI more inclusive and prevent algorithms that discriminate. Solvatten is a Swedish Solar Safe Water Energy System that gives clean and hot water through solar energy, which helps mainly women and children who live without access to clean water and basic hygiene.
Solvatten will be in San José on the first of November for the exhibition opening as well as the award ceremony of James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award. Past recipients of the prize are Bill Gates and Al Gore. During the exhibition year, the Tech Museum will arrange “2020 Youth Climate Action Summit. The climate crisis is an intergenerational justice problem. Fortunately, there is technology that makes a difference and inspires us forward!
The Soroptimists for women, independence and trees
Friday, February 23, 2018
The Swedish and German Soroptimists have implemented several Solvatten projects in Africa and Nepal. Some of their latest commitments are dedicated to four Kenyan villages; Kisumu, Nakuru, Meru an Maseno. The objective was to reach the most vulnerable people in the areas through local groups, to provide them with a tool to have clean, hot water at home.
Elizabeth Juma Inwonga is one of the women in Kisumu who received a Solvatten through Gita Women’s Group. The community is using unsafe water from the nearby rivers for drinking, cooking, and bathing. The highly contaminated water cause illness and disease, especially during the rainy season as the floods carry garbage and heavy pollutions upstream. Elizabeth, who is taking care of a household of 10 persons, explains that her family has been visiting the hospital about 7 times a month to treat waterborne diseases. Solvatten will improve their health and save them money previously spent on medication and healthcare.
In the city of Meru, Solvatten was distributed through the local Neema Group – a support group for people with disabilities. The members of the group face hard difficulties to many of the daily chores and many are completely dependent on family members help. As a result of the felling of trees, the area is facing environmental destruction. Bare soils along the river banks are heavily eroded during the rains and completely dried up in the dry seasons. A project called ”Fruitable Water Source” combined the issues in one solution through Solvatten! The condition was to plant 10 trees on one’s farm, in exchange for a Solvatten unit. The planted trees will have a positive effect as they will provide shade and fruit as a source of income, and the demand for cutting down remaining trees decrease. A win-win-win solution, for people and planet.
This is historical! I’ve been solely depending on my wife because of my dysfunctional hands and legs. Solvatten is making me more independent! Also, I can give back to the community by offering them safe water for drinking.
— Patrick Gitonga, beneficiary of Solvatten in Meru.
The positive work of the Soroptimists has caught interest in media. In an article in Reuters, a journalist has highlighted one of their previous projects in Emuchimi, Kenya.
The UN Environment Assembly (UNEP), the world’s highest-level decision-making body on environmental issues, is now gathering in Nairobi, Kenya, under the overarching theme of pollution. Solvatten, a Swedish social enterprise, is invited to share its experiences in providing safe, hot water in a clean, sustainable and innovative manner.
1.3 billion people lack access to electricity in their homes and nearly 40% of the world’s population rely on fuel wood, and charcoal for domestic use. The same people rely on water sources that cannot be considered safe to drink. Nevertheless. the access to clean air, clean drink water and hygiene are essential human rights.
CALL FOR SYMBIOTIC AND PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS
The participation of civil society and the private sector is crucial to a successful environment and climate agenda. The UN Environment Assembly acknowledges that in bringing together these diverse stakeholders, it provides a groundbreaking platform for leadership on global environmental policy. Thus, such simple, efficient and low-cost innovation as Solvatten has called the attention of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Petra Wadström, Solvatten’s CEO, founder and inventor is in Nairobi for an inspirational week at UNEP headquarters.
“The dependence on firewood and charcoal is not only harmful indoor air pollution, it is also a major cause of deforestation and bio-diversity loss in the world. We see that families are consistently using Solvatten because of its savings on fuelwood and its convenience. In our project evaluations most users of Solvatten surprisingly enough ranked the access to hot water higher than its purifying qualities.But it’s a heavy load to carry so it’s not hard to imagine why, when thinking about it.
Leading by example
Petra also describes Tharaka Nithi County in Kenya where Solvatten is currently developing a project in cooperation with the International Aid Services (IAS), an international non-governmental organization for development and humanitarian relief. The project main objective is to reduce the use of fuel wood consumption, improve women empowerment in the community. For this purpose, a total of 834 Solvatten units were donated to IAS for the benefit of Tharaka community. The preliminary results show a general health improvement of the community members using Solvatten, as well as reduction of fuelwood consumption, less visits to a health clinics, and increased school attendance for girls.
“We are very proud to see that Solvatten is able to address not only one, but several Sustainable Development Goals, for instance, goal 3 (good health and well-being), goal 5 (gender equality and women empowerment) and goal 6 (clean water, better hygiene and sanitation).” Petra said.
Solvatten is a combined portable water treatment and water heater system, designed for off-grid household use in the developing world. Thanks to its durable design, with an average lifespan of 7-10 years, Solvatten is a low-cost way to get clean and hot water. The patented technology uses direct sunlight to treat and heat water and is able to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites. The result is +75°C water that meets the highest World Health Organization (WHO) requirements for safe drinking water. As a positive side-effect, by using Solvatten less time and fuel wood is needed for other domestic chores like washing and hygiene.
Cross-sectorial innovations such Solvatten are key for a safer and sustainable planet. We hope that Petra will continue to inspire and encourage more organizations to go beyond business as usual and really make a difference. Lycka till, Petra!
Written by Analice Martins.
For more information about Solvatten and a presskit please follow this link:
With UNHCR in Palabek Kal, Host Community in Uganda
Saturday, July 15, 2017
UNHCR supports beneficiaries in the refugees settlement, host community, boarder points and health centres of Palabek Kal.
Training and demonstration done by LWF staff at Palabek Gem Sub-county, Lamwo district. Uganda.
To date, a total of 300 Solvatten water treatment kits have been distributed to beneficiaries in the refugees settlement, host community, boarder points and health centres (in the settlement and host community). Solvatten is being provided to persons of concern living near streams; hence, might be tempted to fetch and use unsafe water from the nearby streams. This has been realised thanks to our ongoing CSR partnership with NORES and others.
One of the beneficiaries at Ngomoromo border point signing gainst his name on Solvatten distribution form after receiving Solvatten kit.