Mohamed Amine C...'s New Entry

This Entry has been submitted.

Mohamed Amine C...'s New Entry: Safa

Sale, MoroccoAmezmiz, Morocco
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

"Safa" is a project that aims to build a sustainable activity of production and selling of efficient inexpensive water purification solutions provided by people in disadvantaged position in favor of a population facing significant challenges for sustainable access to safe drinking water.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

If we succeed, SAFA won't only be a leading Moroccan social enterprise offering immediate and sustainable water filtration solutions but also a long-term empowering strategy which will drive positive improvements in the overall living standards of people.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

About 2.8 billion people – half the developing world – lack even a simple ‘improved’ latrine and 1.1 billion people has no access to any type of improved drinking source of water. As a direct consequence: The world loses a life every 19 seconds. Besides, half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day, waiting for job opportunities to work their life through.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Indeed, our product is a simple filtration system, produced based on a mixture of clay, sawdust and coal. After heating it to 800 ° C, the residues are decomposed while releasing carbon dioxide gas which forms pores in the ceramic material. These pores have the right size to trap up to 99% of pathogens while allowing water to flow instantly. For more efficiency against viruses, a purifying solution of silver nitrate is added on the pot, to react chemically with the water. Safa alone could carry out a physical and a chemical water treatment. An effective treatment which was certified by the National Institute of Hygiene.

Awards

1st prize of The Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award, the Champion of the Enactus competition nationwide and Vice-champion worldwide, Startup of the month at the New Work Lab and was classified, by La Vie éco, among the top 5 Startups in Morocco.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

More than 2 million people in Morocco still lack sustainable access to safe water. People of “Amezmiz” a Moroccan country side, especially women and children, are forced to walk to three hours to find water. Once back, this water is not even drinkable, it causes diarrhea, dehydrations and even death. Initially “Safa” was introduced to people of the region who have an expertise in clay craft but they were still reticent and suspicious. After many sensitizing campaigns and once they have tried the product and noticed the difference, the demand in the product has significantly increased. Now not only each household of the region has sustainable access to safe drinking water but also the local potters have become autonomous micro-entrepreneurs.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Till now every community that has hosted Safa has benefited. The families feel more protected and immune dealing with waterborne diseases, which make havoc every year. During the last year (2014-2015) Safa served more than 3 regions, reaching over 440 households with access to clean drinking water, improving over 12000 lives and creating 9 job opportunities with an average monthly income of 200$. Currently the program is operated by our micro-entrepreneurs and distributers in collaboration with associations of each region.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our goal is to reach as many users as possible in markets, while undercutting potential competitors. That is why we came up, with a clear marketing and sales strategies: • Widen the sales network from existing sales offices to other provinces • Establish autonomous and independent production units. • Create a network of "Waterpreneurs" membership to the site theaccesswaterproject.org and implement methods to track their activities. • Conduct collaborative partnerships with organizations. • Explore international market opportunities by beginning with neighboring countries.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Expenses for machinery and logistics are estimated on the total for these capital costs is 5300 $.With that investment, we could erect a factory that can produce up to 500 filters per month following our supply chain plan. According to our forecasts, if the market absorbs 500 filters per month, the micro-entrepreneur will be able to pay back the initial investment in 2 years, which will be reinvested in setting up another factory.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

We noticed that the needs of the market segment on which we are focused remained unmet before our intervention. This customer segment is the population in the base of the socioeconomic pyramid. Safa seeks to be unique by focusing on this segment of the population which is often under-looked due to the higher profitability found in the middle and upper market segments and also the high prices of effective filtration systems that we could found in the market. This price also allows to a new market segment to have access to filtering technologies on a point of use basis.
Team

Founding Story

Pottery happens to be one of the most popular handcrafts in Morocco. While we were looking for a filter that provides clean drinking water, we came across the ceramic filter solution. At that moment, we started thinking about teaching those potters how to use the handcraft they master to turn the row materials into a real product. After our research and experimentation in partnership with professors and laboratories, we ended up building a water filtration solution which revalorizes local materials and creates job opportunities. We have thus reached a brand new target market.

Team

We are a team of engineering students, and we believe that in this battle for life we could change this tough reality. Armed by our skills and our knowledge, we decided to look after this project, full of energy and motivation. We traveled many miles, we felt the pain of these people, we searched, we tried to find solutions, but we never gave up ! And then we succeeded ! Our team is our strength, our strength is in our harmony and our harmony defines our consisting and solid work.