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As part of SI Centenary celebrations, (re)discover every month a project from the last ten years, carried out by SIE Unions and clubs.

SI Union of Sweden

MORE THAN ONE BILLION PEOPLE LACK ACCESS TO SAFE WATER

 

Between 2012 and 2020, Swedish Soroptimist clubs and the German club Köln-Römerturm raised €215,000, and 2,088 Solvatten were distributed to vulnerable families in more than 50 local projects, mainly in Tanzania, Kenya, Senegal, Gambia, Nepal, Mali, Colombia, and most recently in Uganda. Solvatten (Solar Safe Water System) is a Swedish innovation that uses solar energy to purify contaminated water.

First project in 2013: Kenyan Union President Helen Yego handing over a Solvatten to an old woman in a widower’s community in Eldoret.

 

Thanks to Solvatten, and the project led by the Soroptimist Union of Sweden, women, and often children, no longer need to walk long distances to fetch water or collect firewood or buy kerosene, gas, or charcoal to boil contaminated water. This saves time, ensures better health, a more independent economy, a safer environment, and a better status in the community.

 

After a few hours in the sun, the water is free of pathogens that cause diseases such as dysentery, salmonella, and cholera. This unique device also heats the water. There are no maintenance costs, chemicals, spare parts, or batteries. Easy to use and transport, it is a tool specially designed for women starting small businesses.

 

New projects are carefully selected before signing an agreement, preferably in co-operation with a local Soroptimist club. A local project manager is responsible for the distribution of Solvatten and the training of women, not only in its practical use but also in health, economic and environmental issues. Often, the women pay a symbolic sum for their Solvatten to make them more committed. The local project manager is also responsible for reporting to us on the savings made, including a few concrete cases. So far, almost all beneficiaries have been extremely satisfied with their Solvatten.

 

The Solvatten container complies with the 17 sustainable development objectives of the United Nations. No wonder that, in 2013, it won the Soroptimist Best Practice Award in the category of Sustainability, one of the objectives of our organisation’s programme!

 

 

For more information, please visit www.soroptimistsweden.se and www.solvatten.se

 

If you would like to contribute to the projects, please send your donation to the Solvatten account at Nordea: IBAN: SE95 9500 0099 6034 0657 1178, BIC-code SWIFT NDEASESS

Author

SI Swedish Union

Martha Björnström

Head of the Solvatten Programme Group

marbjo9@hotmail.com

Jytte Roos

Member of the Solvatten Programme Group, Int. contacts.

jytte.roos@gmail.com

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