How does it work?
Beyond Water takes a different approach to reducing water poverty. Now, individuals can invest in improvements to their own water supplies with no financial aid from charities or governments. Watch the video below to find out more.
What have we done so far?
With funding from DFID’s Challenge Fund and working alongside UNICEF, we have trained and mentored local entrepreneurs to equip them with the skills they need to set up viable businesses to increase access to water in their communities.
Our pilot programme provided intensive support to a group of 25 motivated WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) entrepreneurs and encouraged them to supply a range of products and services to communities, small-scale farmers and individual households. We also linked customers with small scale savings and loan initiatives to provide an affordable means for investment.
The social impact of our pilot was astonishing. In just their first 12 months of trading, the 25 small small businesses we created brought clean, safe water to almost 22,000 people, giving them access to secure, sustainable water for communal, farming and individual use. Establishing local supply businesses has helped make water pumps in rural areas more sustainable, as well as creating more social and economic opportunities for the entrepreneurs, involved in our programme, and their wider communities. This entrepreneurial approach has also improved the skills of local trades people, such as welders and metal workers to build, repair and maintain water pumps.
Our pilot proved that poor rural communities in Malawi have both the desire, and the means to invest in their own water supplies.
By harnessing the ambition and innovation of local communities we have reduced their reliance on NGOs and other agencies, restoring independence and reducing aid dependency.