Safe Water Network is working to bring reliable access to clean, affordable water to underserved communities globally, through field implementation, sector engagement, and technical assistance.
In India and Ghana, Safe Water Network’s operations have connected over 1.7 million people with access to safe water through a market-based approach of decentralised small water enterprises (SWEs). SWEs are well suited to the fastest growing areas in the developing world where the need for safe water is far outpacing government capacity to provide services.
Safe Water Network’s approach utilises locally adaptable micro-utilities and kiosks that process water to national quality standards and sell it at rates affordable to people living on $1-2/day.
These locally owned and managed SWEs, implemented in clusters for efficient maintenance through a regional service team, meet the safe water needs of communities whose populations are too small for urban utilities, but dense enough to overwhelm small-scale technology like hand pumps. The SWEs generate revenue from water sales to cover operating expenses and support long-term technical services and maintenance requirements.
After supporting a successful pilot, the Foundation is providing a $4.5m grant over four years to support Safe Water Network’s expansion of services in Ghana, with a focus on growing its piped connection programme to 11,000 connections and 28 new communities. This will bring convenient and safe access to clean water from a local SWE directly to households and improve the financial sustainability of the SWE.