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Eight winning African entrepreneurs to pilot their water innovative ideas

Posted on 5 December 2016

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VIA Water is pleased to announce the eight winners from the VIA Water Innovation Challenge II, who will get a chance to join its accelerator program.

These eight selected projects-to-be will start their Innovation Challenge on 9 December, with a series of workshops organized and facilitated by Africa Funded.

dws-via-water-winners-challenge-350pxPiloting their ideas
In 6 workshops the winning enterpreneurs will learn from experts in the fields of developing a sound pilot proposal, market need assessment, budgeting, risk mitigation, outcome management, setting up the right team and partners complemented with individual sessions.

The full track of training sessions will lead to an initial identification on the feasibility, and proposal for piloting the concept, which can be used for the VIA Water fund or other possible donors.

This way, the participants have a chance of piloting their ideas for the very first time, thereby creating a proven concept to be used on the road ahead.

Getting to the next stage
“The role of a program like VIA Water is crucial as there is a lack of risk capital to test promising ideas”, indicated Saskia Reus-Makkink, founder of Africa Funded.

According to Reus-Makkink, VIA Water not only provides the funding, but also knowledge and network to develop the concepts. “This challenge will add a pressure cooker element to the program, and it will support the pioneers in getting to the next stage” she added.

”It’s an exciting group, we look forward to start and be part of their teams for the coming weeks.” 

The projects that have been selected are:
● Latjor Gadier Gatwich Chuol, Yal Africa potable water, South Sudan
Latjor from South Sudan aims to start a water vending model in Juba, based on decentralized units with container distributions to vending points. The system will be unique as there are existing vending points from where he will deliver and collect money afterwards.

dws-via-water-challenge-poster-350px● Muhire Louis Antoine, Distant payment for water, Rwanda
Muhire is part of Mergims, a Rwanda based company that is enabling distant payments of migrants to cover energy, tution fees and other regular expenses of their relatives back home. The applicant intends to expand his service for water payments as there is a demand.

● Mayank Midha, GARV toilets, India/Ghana
Mayank and his company develops very high tech but vandalism resistant, stainless steel toilet units for Indian slums and would like to pilot that now in an African context (Ghana). In their pilot in Ghana, he would like to install 4 blocks of toilets, each with 7 units and a bio-digestor.

● Boubacar Keita, Map Action, Bamako, Mali
The idea of Map Action is to create an interactive map of Bamako to highlight water problems in the city. The project allows citizens to share information about problems in their neighbourhood, which is then verified and then placed on an interactive map. The bigger goal of the project is to provide the citizens a tool to inform and be informed about their city. Moreover, through the interactive map, the project aims to inform the investors to make right decisions and to the authorities to respond to the challenges citizens report.

● Virgile Akowanou, Sand-ceramic water filter for Household Water Treatment, Benin
Virgile has developed and tested the application of a ceramic disc attached to a sand column in a PVC tube of 10 cm diameter. This innovative filter is kind of a bio-sand filter in which the carbon is replaced by the disc. He has created the design based on a market survey and intends to pilot the filer in real (aim to produce 1,000 filters) for 3 euro per unit.

● Mshila Sio, Floating green filters, Kenya
Mshila Sio plans to pilot the application of a floating mat on which plants are grown, treating waste water. Efficiency is much higher than wetlands, because the roots are in the water (and not in the mud), giving a much higher contact area and efficient bacteria growth. He plans to pilot this system at a university’s waste water ponds (combining pilot, demo and research). The project also has plans to try it on river water as a pre-treatment for drinking water.

dws-via-water-challenge-workshop-350px● Branislav Petrusevsk & Abdulai Salifu, Fluroide removal filters to treat groundwater, Ghana
In response to the high levels of fluoride in groundwater in Ghana that cause fluoride related health problems, the project plans to pilot field tests of fluoride removal filter with aluminum oxide coated media.

● Christian Irakoze and Aimé Bizimana, Eza Neza Aeroponics, Rwanda
Eza Neza is a Rwandan company that wants to enable urban farmers to use the simple but innovative aeroponics solution to produce food crops. The vertical farming aeroponics is an advanced form of hydroponics. It is not only innovative but also ensures less use of land and water. The Eza Neza team is currently piloting the aeroponics.

About Via Water
Via Water is a cooperation between education institute Unesco-IHE and development aid foundation Aqua for All, and is being funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign affairs.

Its programme supports innovators in Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Sudan, to get viable solutions for urban water problems to the next stage.

This news item was originally published on the website of Via Water.


Read also on this website
VIA Water used crowd sourced mapping for flood risk assessment in Accra, Ghana, 10 October 2016
Via Water supports three Kenyan water start-ups to roll out their business plans, 18 March 2016


More information
Via Water
c/o Unesco-IHE
Delft, the Netherlands
+31 15 215 23 34
www.viawater.nl

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