In 2013, The Hunger Project (Uganda, Australia and Germany) partnered with Siemens Stiftung and the SkyJuice Foundation to launch the Safe Water Enterprise.
The Enterprise is a community-driven program that produces safe drinking water, sold at a reasonable rate to epicenter partners. This water is branded Epi-Water, a combination of the words ‘epicenter’ and ‘water.’ In 2013, nearly a quarter of all Ugandans lacked access to clean drinking water. Currently, a little over a fifth of all Ugandans still lack access to safe water for drinking. The Safe Water Enterprise Project met a vital need, and successfully completed its first few years of operation under the leadership of community members, with initial training by the SkyJuice Foundation.
Today, the Safe Water Enterprise Project has expanded from its initial location in Namayumba Epicenter to other epicenters across Uganda. With funding from Siemens Stiftung and SkyJuice Foundation, The Hunger Project-Uganda recently received two new Safe Water Enterprise kiosks for Kiruhura and Mbarara Epicenters. Water pumped from rivers, lakes, rain water and wells are filtered through the Safe Water Enterprise drinking water facility, removing bacteria, viruses and solids. This water is then sold at the centrally located Enterprise kiosks, shortening the walking distance to safe water.
In preparation for the installation of the kiosks, local communities have elected five-member committees to serve as project managers. After initial trainings, committee members hired local managers and staff to monitor the water filters, market and sell the water, and create awareness for the importance of clean drinking water.
The Safe Water Enterprise Project has been able to provide clean drinking water that’s accessible, affordable and most importantly, safe. And the community-led approach ensures that epicenter communities will have the skills to keep the system operating long after technical support leaves.