Safe water changes everything, but simply drilling wells and giving away water to communities will never solve the water crisis without a long-term plan for sustainability. At Water4, we believe in a long-term market based solution to the water crisis.
All over Africa, Water4 teams are creating a path toward paid public utilities.
In the traditional charity model, those in the West pay for water infrastructure in Africa perpetually. Water4’s experience challenges that model. We believe that a critical factor in ending the water crisis is affordable water sales. To that end, our teams are establishing water vending kiosks across Africa. The small fees collected not only sustain those water points, but also provide enough profit to build and sustain additional water points for the underserved across that nation.
Water4 community wells are designed to serve communities up to 300 people. Each community well consists of a concrete pad constructed on top of a drilled borehole fitted with a hand pump. Communities contribute all they can toward construction of their well, and donated capital subsidizes the remaining cost. Once a well is constructed, water is free to individual community members to use as needed. The cost for each community well includes Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) training to help communities discover how to prevent waterborne disease transmission through proper sanitation and hygiene, including but not limited to handwashing, safe food preparation, latrine usage, and other simple interventions.
Water4 NUMA piped water networks are designed to serve communities up to 3000 people. A NUMA network includes a solar powered central NEXUS station with filtration & pumping technology, and up to four NODE extensions linked to the NEXUS to serve as satellite water distribution points. The NEXUS and NODES are designed to serve a) walk-up customers, b) customers who want safe water piped in their homes, and c) institutional customers including schools, clinics and businesses. Donated capital funds the initial construction, while revenue from water sales covers operational and maintenance expenses, ensuring long-term sustainability of each network.