Media release: Finnish eco-invention starts African market entry in Kenya

Clean drinking water will be produced from a drilled well for a local school and village community in the Kenyan countryside.

At the turn of the year, Solar Water Solutions will take its solar-powered water purification system to Kenya. The equipment is among the first water purification solutions delivered to Africa that can produce drinking water from salty and impure sea- or groundwater using solar energy. Clean drinking water will be produced from a drilled well for a local school and village community in the Kenyan countryside. The location was found through the World Vision Finland development organisation: a pilot project is carried out with the Finnish and Kenyan World Vision organisations.

Safe water in sustainable way

In Africa, water is usually available as groundwater from a drilled well, a river, small streams, rainwater pools or the sea. The water, however, often contains salt or other impurities and is undrinkable. Water-borne diseases are common and are the greatest single cause of death in children under the age of five. “Our solution enables the safe production of clean drinking water. The equipment removes bacteria, chemicals, viruses and other impurities from the water, and works without expensive batteries just on free-of-charge solar energy”, tells Antti Pohjola, Managing Director of Solar Water Solutions.

Kenya is one of the world’s sunniest countries where the sun shines on average for 9.8 hours per day. Using the system, water can be produced without fossil fuels at low cost and locally. In Kenya, women and girls are mainly responsible for carrying water, undertaking long and dangerous water-carrying trips. Fetching the water can take a whole day. With Solar Water Solutions’ distributed system, water can be obtained from nearby, and families’ time freed up for other things. Children get time to study, and women can look after their families and engage in entrepreneurial activity.

On a mission to reduce emissions in emerging countries

Solar Water Solutions, which won the Global Water Awards innovation prize in the Middle East in 2017, is a Finnish water technology company. The products have been developed and tested in close cooperation with the Energy Technology Department at Aalto University. Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation – has been significantly involved in the company’s product development projects. The company’s long-term aim is to be a leading provider of water purification solutions to remote areas of Africa and Asia, where more than 1.2 billion people suffer from lack of water, without effective water infrastructure.
Solar Water Solutions manufactures all its equipment in Finland. The equipment combines new technological solutions, a reasonable price and ease of use. “We want to bring the costs of clean water production and its related service concept to a whole new level, so that everyone will have access to clean drinking water, even in poorer areas,” says Pohjola.


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