Making clean drinking water affordable for refugees in Southwest Uganda
A grantee under the Smart Communities Coalition Innovation Fund (SCCIF) funded by USAID and implemented by EnDev, has successfully completed its pilot to provide safe drinking water through a multipurpose containerized solar-powered water pumping and purification technology in Nakivale, a refugee settlement in Uganda.
Uganda is globally known for its progressive refugee response of community integration and access to services guided by the country’s Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). Currently, the country hosts slightly over 1.5 million refugees and asylum seekers, primarily from its neighbouring countries of South Sudan, the DRC, Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi. In Uganda, many refugees lack adequate access to safe, clean and sustainable energy and drinking water. This has a dramatic impact on health, sanitation and well-being, affecting mostly women, girls and children. In addition, the current diesel-based water delivery models are costly and environmentally damaging.
To this end, EnDev is supporting five private sector companies under the SCCIF to deliver market-based innovative solutions in multiple refugee settlements including Nakivale. The interventions tackle various challenges regarding access to basic energy services (education, health, clean drinking water, sanitation and agricultural value addition) as well as the ability to benefit from connectivity and associated digital tools (communication, payments, information). In the Nakivale Refugee Settlement, the SCCIF financed a local community-based financial institution, MOBAN SACCO, to pilot a multipurpose containerized solar-powered water pumping and purification technology while offering affordable electricity and Wi-Fi connectivity. The OffGridBox is powered by a 4kWp solar PV system and generates up to 12kWh of clean electricity daily, with excess power supplied to nearby small businesses.
The units are already providing clean drinking water to the target beneficiaries in the settlement at a nominal price of 0.5 USD / 20l container. Through the pilot, the company made clean water accessible and affordable by reducing its price by 75% and created nine direct jobs, of which four are taken by women.
What is the SCCIF?
USAID partnered with EnDev, to design the Smart Communities Coalition Innovation Fund (SCCIF). The SCCIF aims to bring private sector-led, innovative solutions to displaced populations and crisis-affected host communities. As part of the fund, EnDev has run two successful calls for proposals and financed six innovative private sector-led solutions to deliver services linking energy with connectivity and digital tools to create economic opportunities for forcibly displaced persons and their host communities in Kenya and Uganda.
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