Solar Water Purifiers Show Success In Kenya

In Kenya, as in many places around the world, there’s a great need for accessible, clean water, and for cottage industries that can empower budding entrepreneurs. A new project from Habihut addresses both.

The company reports that it has successfully demonstrated three HabiHut solar water kiosks in the African country in conjunction with Umande Trust, a Kenya-based non-governmental organization. These kiosks–which, according to Greenlaunches, were set up in a single day–offer water purified via integrated solar panels for a fee, as well as power for those with cell-phones lacking access to the grid.

Habihut Solar Water Kiosk

image via Habihut

Based on the results of this preliminary deployment–which as shown an average of 2,600 customers per month, per kiosk–HabiHut, in collaboration with The Hunt Institute, has now to announced its “Hot Spring Micro-Franchise” initiative, which will package these kiosks as a “turn-key” business to be sold as part of a franchise to micro-entrepreneurs in the developing world.

“There are 500 million cell phone users worldwide who don’t have access to the grid,” said Buz Weas, President of HabiHut, in a statement, “and over 1.1 billion people who don’t have access to clean water. Imagine thousands of African small businesses acting as the communal source for water and outside communication (cell phone charging).” He goes on to note that these two services have a natural synergy and can go a long way to creating many sustainable businesses in Africa and around the world.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.