GreenSolns Water

GreenSolns Water : Safe Drinking water for all

Johannesburg, South AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Water scarcity or lack of safe drinking water is one of the world's leading problems affecting more than 2 billion people globally. We sell micro-membrane filtration systems that offer cost-effective manner of offering access to drinking water in rural areas.

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

What if affordable organic micro-membranes could treat and provide high quality, safe drinking water for all citizens.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Water scarcity or lack of safe drinking water is one of the world's leading problems affecting more than 2 billion people globally. According to studies, every 90 seconds a child dies from a water related disease with Diarrhea being the 3rd leading cause of child death. Lack of access to quality, safe drinking water is the biggest challenge faced by humanity currently, more so in Africa.

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

We have developed a micro-membrane filter system attached to a tradition water system of river, streams or ponds for use in communities most affected by water shortage in Africa. Our membranes allows for low-cost, area specific treatment of any type of water body Using a low cost delivery system our membrane is able to treat harvested rain water, stream and river water for domestic use as well as industrial effluent with a specific target of reducing the over reliance of portable water for farming and irrigation.

Awards

Gordon Institute Of Business Science Social Entrprenuership award.
Impact: How does it Work

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

In Africa majority of citizens rely on agriculture for live-hood and to continue to be active citizens. Access to water affects more than just the everyday drinking purposes but also the future of our continent. Imagine Sarah, just like all African women that spend over 200 million hours collecting water daily, Sarah also has a little child that she needs to feed as well as look for employment. At GreenSolns by developing nearer water sources we significantly reduce the amount of time Sarah spends fethcing water, by using our membrane coated water cans, we increase the amount of water she can safely store in her home and make it safe for consumption for longer, which means that she gets closer, cleaners, safer water for longer from us.

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

We have installed our first treatment points which will be running in a village that will be providing water to over 12000 citizens. In the next six months we will be studying this village compared to the nearby village to assess the amount of clinic visits, children sicknesses such as diarrhea as well as the growth in the region of agricultural activities. We have so far sold 100 buckets within the disaster hit area of Kya Sands where water shortage is causing many diseases, we will be looking at reduction of sicknesses in the region over the next three months.

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

We are looking at using a micro-franchising model to maintain and scale the treatment and sale of water containers within all areas. We are looking, in the next 5 to 10 years to reduce the environmental impact of industrial waste by designing and running our membrane treatment plants in industrial areas with the aim of recycling water for usage in local agricultural areas. Meaning in the next 5 to 10 years we will reduce the current 60% usage of portable water on irrigation to well under 10%. We will also reduce water related sickness as well.
Sustainability

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

By selling our membrane coated water cans we are able to generate an income as well as continue to design, install and maintain water treatment plants for areas. Our water will be treated using a low-cost system which allows us to sell at a much cheaper rate to community. We will be designing and installing membrane treatment plants at a cost for big industries too for water recycling which will reduce their water costs.

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

WaterBros South Africa. At WaterBros they provide rural communities as well as communities most affected by water shortage. However, they use reverse-osmosis they treat their water. A costly system that also wastes up to 30% water and is not energy efficient. We use organic material as well as membrane filters which lasts longer and uses up very little water. With our membranes we also have the scale advantage as they are better to use at any scale including water recycling whereas with reverse osmosis they need bigger water bodies.
Team

Founding Story

In the year 2006 the founder had just finished his Chemistry qualification in University and was placed for internship. My job was to operate and monitor a membrane bio-reactor which was treated industrial waste for water reuse, I then went on to work for the City of Cape Town Water department and Johannesburg water in the design and water monitoring team. In 2014 it donned on me that the same systems we are using are democratized and that urban areas are getting majority of the water with rural areas neglected. I therefore decided to start my company and innovated the membrane system I learned to a micro-scale in order to reduce treatment costs for rural areas.

Team

Murendeni Mafumo - Founder and CEO, Diploma Chemistry. Full time. Ndivhu Nemukula - CFO. Ndivhu holds a Master in International development from the University of Bristol and Bcom (Hons) Economics and Information systems. Full Time. Aluwani Raphala - Technician. Aluwani has been working in the plumbing and water industry for the last 10 years. Full time. Siviwe Kandisa - Chemical Engineer. Working as a data analyst and strategist. Part-Time All the four members serve as the board of directors and we are in the process of recruiting board members as well as non-executive directors.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Opportunities for Africans

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Clean Water and Sanitation.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Since the early age of 16 I have been of an entrepreneurial spirit. When my uncle started working he gave me some money to stock up on concentrated juice for sale in the area. At that age I started the local juice business and managed to make enough money to put myself through school and provide for the family. From that age I fell in love with entrepreneurship, read up on as many books as I could get. In 2012 I setup my first official company, Oditron and my cousin joined me as co-founder. That was born out of my need when I moved to the City and I couldn't find a place that could sell me a custom made fishtank. We then setup first-ever online, fully-custom made fishtank, ponds and water features company, working with my cousin we managed to grow the company, hired two full-time staff and bought a bakkie. To this day the company continues to function and is led by a young gentleman we mentored.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

Spark International - Spark offers us the strategic support as well as design, webhosting and support we need to scale.
Improchem - They are our membrane suppliers as well research and development partners.
Gordon Institute of Business Science - They offer us the social entrepreneurship support and exposure.