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Household filters help Ethiopians get clean drinking water

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In Ethiopia, it is not always possible to access clean drinking water. With the help of the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW), Dutch entrepreneur Resilience and Ethiopian entrepreneur Shayashone have partnered to produce and sell household water filters in the rural area. Families that use the water filter now have clean drinking water.

The Nazava water filter

The project aims to help Ethiopians access clean drinking water. Resilience and Shayashone started Nazava Trading PLC to produce and sell household water filters. They combine training Health Extension Workers with sales events in the rural area. The Health Extension Workers spread the word about waterborne diseases. Each Health Extension Worker trains 40 women from the Women Development Army. These local women have a leadership position in their community.

Next to this, sales events are organised in the same communities. These sales events are jointly organised with vendors, Health Extension Workers and sometimes church representatives. Customers can buy on the spot or through a credit arrangement if Micro-finance Institutions (MFIs) are active in that district. The partnership has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the MFIs Harbu and Vision Fund. These MFIs provide loans for the Nazava water filter. A household water filter costs around 25 euros.

No more diarrhoea

Ms Yesezer Mekonen is a farmer and part of the Women Development Army in the Amhara Region. Her family gets its water from a nearby river. The river water is cloudy and can contain bacteria. Because of the unclean water, her 4 children had suffered from diarrhoea many times. She was worried about their health. In March 2019, Ms Yesezer talked to a local Health Extension Worker. She explained to her the risk of diseases that come from polluted water. She told her about the benefits of the Nazava filter. Ms Yesezer became convinced and bought the water filter on credit through Harbu Microfinance.

After using the filter, Ms Yesezer and her family have not suffered from diarrhoea. Her children are happy and only want to drink water from the filter. They also like the taste of the filtered water. Ms Yesezer: “Since we started using the filter, we do not have any stomach ache, headaches or diarrhoea in our household.” Also, she advised more than 40 people to start using the filter; 5 of them have already bought the filter. At the moment, she is paying back the loan each month for a period of 12 months.

Cost-effective clean water

Ms Tesfanesh Belachew is a 43-year-old lady. She lives in Gurage Zone with her 3 children. Health Extension Workers explained the risks of waterborne diseases to her. In the past, she used chemicals such as chlorine tablets or Wuha Agar to treat her water, or she bought bottled water.

In November 2019, she bought a Nazava water filter from Kidame Mart agents. She was asked why she bought a Nazava water filter during an after-sales follow-up visit. She said: “The water in our community is not clean. We get our water from water wells, but this water looks dirty. I want to give my family clean drinking water. I have been using chemicals to treat my water, but this is expensive. When I heard about the Nazava water filter, I decided to buy it to protect my family from any waterborne diseases. Now, I believe in the Nazava water filter, and I am not worried about my family health anymore, regardless of the source of the water. I have seen the difference between the water before and after the filtering process. The water is very clear now, and the taste is really nice. I used to buy bottled water for my children, but now they pour and drink water directly from the filter’s tap. It is very easy for them to use.”

Sustainable Water Fund (FDW)

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency uses the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW) to stimulate public-private collaboration in the water sector on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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