WASH SERIES: Can Entrepreneurs Make a Difference?


This is the second of a three-part series focusing on water sanitation and hygiene (WASH). If you haven't read the first-part click here

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, replaced the Millennium Development Goals which expired this year. The new goals aim to shape political policy globally for the next fifteen years. So what’s on the agenda post-2015?

The focus of this post is on goal number 6: “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” 

Now that is one big, hairy problem.

If the world if to achieve this goal by 2030, then all of us are going to have to start looking differently at how we might tackle this issue.

According to WaterAid, there remains over 650 million people without access to safe water. This is closely linked to the issue of sanitation which effects 1 in 3 of the world’s population.

So is their growth for market-based solutions in this area?

Here is a list of 5 entrepreneurs looking at the WASH crisis:

1   1) DayOneResponse
Inspired by the earthquake in Haiti, Tricia Compas-Markman decided to create the DayOne Waterbag. The bag has been used in “disaster zones in 21 countries as an all-in-one solution to provide clean water and prevent water-borne diseases”.
Image credit: DayOne Response
2    2) LifeStraw
Lifestraw is a portable, compact high volume filter for camping, group hikes and expeditions. The straw makes water contaminated with bacteria, viruses and protozoa safe to drink. LifeStraw also ensure that one school child in a developing country receives safe drinking water for an entire school year with every product bought.
Image credit:matteroftrust

      3) Who Gives A Crap
Filled with toilet-humour, Who Gives A Crap makes 100% recycled toilet paper and donate 50% of profits to build toilets in the developing world.
Image credit:ispyplumpie

4    4) Sarvajal
Sarvajal is an Indian company, whose name means water for all. In 2013, they launched a series of solar powered ATMs that dispense water. Sarvajal purifies ground water at local plants and then distributes the water through ATMs.

Image Credit: morningflash

5    5) NextDrop
Addressing the problem of a constant water supply in many South Asian nations, NextDrop offers “a text service that tells users exactly when the water will run each day.” Their customers are utility companies who pay to receive data from NextDrop allowing users to enjoy the service for free.
Image credit:Forbes

Do you know of more businesses tackling water, sanitation and hygiene issues? Share them  on twitter @DanushiPeiris

Until next time,



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