Updated Jan 15, 2021

Carlita Bevege

Send Message

A simple, cost-effective innovation providing millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa with access to safe water.

For less than $1.50 per person, per year, Evidence Action’s Dispensers for Safe Water program provides over 4 million people across rural Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi with free and reliable access to safe drinking water. In 2019, this prevented over 450,000 cases of diarrhea and saved the lives of an estimated 373 children under five. Dispensers for Safe Water is not a one-time hardware instal...
SEE ALL
For less than $1.50 per person, per year, Evidence Action’s Dispensers for Safe Water program provides over 4 million people across rural Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi with free and reliable access to safe drinking water. In 2019, this prevented over 450,000 cases of diarrhea and saved the lives of an estimated 373 children under five. Dispensers for Safe Water is not a one-time hardware installation; our focus is sustainable service delivery. Our maintenance and supply chain ensures dispensers are always working, and our delivery platform engages over 54,000 volunteers who are elected by their communities to promote and guide dispenser use, and who let us know when supplies or repairs are needed. Our dispensers also eliminate the need to boil water, allowing users to avoid hazardous indoor air pollution while reducing their carbon footprint, and creating an additional source of program funding through carbon credits.
SEE LESS

Stage 5: Scaling

27,000+ dispensers installed in rural Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi // 4+ million people reached annually // 54,000+ community advocates // 55% average adoption rate //
Registered in Kenyain Kenya

Focus Areas:

Health, Sanitation, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and 1 MoreSEE ALL

Health, Sanitation, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Social and Behavior ChangeSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Malawi, Kenya and Uganda

Malawi, Kenya and UgandaSEE LESS

1
Key Partner
3
Countries Implemented In
Verified Funding
?

Problem

Diarrheal disease, the world’s second-leading cause of child mortality, claims the lives of 525,000 children under five every year. Over half of these deaths are linked to inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene, and can be prevented through safe water. However, at least 785 million people lack access to a basic drinking-water service, and at least 2 billion use a water source contaminated with feces. About a third of these people live in rural, hard-to-reach communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

}

Solution

Our uniquely-engineered dispensers enable people to treat their water using a safe, pre-measured dose of chlorine. The approach is simple: a villager goes to their usual water source, places their bucket under the dispenser, turns the valve to dispense the correct amount of chlorine, and fills the bucket with water as they normally would. The chlorine disinfects the water as they are walking home. By the time they arrive, they have water that is safe to drink for up to three days.

Target Beneficiaries

In rural parts of low-income countries, most water sources are untreated, and water is not safe to drink directly from the source. Our dispensers provide over 4 million people across 16,500 villages in rural Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi with free and reliable access to safe water, through the use of diluted chlorine - a WHO-approved approach to improving water quality. In 2019, this prevented over 450,000 cases of diarrhea and saved the lives of an estimated 373 children under five.

Mission and Vision

The mission of our Dispensers for Safe Water program is to provide free and reliable access to safe water, reducing preventable diseases such as diarrhea and saving children’s lives. The program directly contributes to Evidence Action’s mission of scaling evidence-based and cost-effective programs to reduce the burden of poverty, and our vision for a world where hundreds of millions of people in the poorest places have better opportunities and their lives are measurably improved.

Competitive Advantage

EVIDENCE Dispensers for Safe Water is underpinned by Nobel Prize-winning research; Michael Kremer (Nobel Laureate, Economic Sciences, 2019) even contributed a dispenser to the Nobel Museum! Kremer and colleagues from Harvard and UC Berkeley tested chlorine dispensers in Kenya against a variety of water treatment options, and found 1) chlorine dispensers had much higher usage rates, and 2) usage stayed high over time. // UPTAKE Dispensers for Safe Water achieves high and sustained adoption rates - over five times that of socially marketed chlorine. // SUSTAINABILITY The most common water treatment method – boiling – typically requires the burning of wood or charcoal. This is financially burdensome, creates health risks from smoke exposure, and has negative environmental impacts through greenhouse gas emissions. Water chlorination is more environmentally friendly - “savings” in emissions, once certified, are traded as carbon credits to generate income that we reinvest in the program.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Reduce mortality and morbidity from diarrhea in children under the age of five. // Provide free, reliable and sustained access to safe water for 4 million people with the 27,000 dispensers that we operate in Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi. // Increase our reach in Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi to 5 million people. // Expand to reach an additional 1 million people through partnerships in two new countries.
Funding Goal2,100,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted6,000,000

Milestone

Nov 2020
New Product Or Service
93,000 carbon credits generated in Malawi approved by UNFCCC
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Malawi, Kenya and Uganda

Supporting Materials

Dispensers-for-Safe-Water-brochure-orientation-null.pdf