Swedish Company Purifies Water in Africa

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Solvatten was established in 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden. The primary focus of the organization has since then been to produce and sell Solvatten to governmental and non-governmental partners around the world.

The company also facilitates CSR projects and carbon offsetting strategies. Through such partnerships, Solvatten has been brought to thousands of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

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In 2010, Solvatten Africa Ltd. was established in Nairobi, Kenya. The aim is to link the distribution of Solvatten with regionally appropriate financing, thereby encouraging uptake by more individuals and organizations in East Africa.

Solvatten (Sunwater) is a portable 11 liter container that harnesses sunshine to heat and treat water at the household level.

Inventor Petra Wadström
Inventor Petra Wadström

In Uganda, Namutebi runs a small business from her home selling ice.

This is her story:

“I first admired Solvatten when I saw one with a community promoter in my village. I was intrigued by it and welcomed the opportunity to be trained in its usage. Solvatten would help me reduce my expenses, boost my ice block business and prevent illness in my family. I then resolved to save some money to buy a Solvatten unit with support from my husband. It cost about 25,000 UGX.

Safe water is essential in my work as I use it as a raw material. In the past I would boil the water for making the ice using charcoal and firewood, but this was very expensive – I spent 2,000 UGX every day to buy charcoal or firewood, but this is no longer the case. I now use Solvatten and am able to save about 60,000 UGX a month. On a hot day, I can purify water up to three times, a total of 33 litres. Since I quickly achieved good results, I was able to buy a second Solvatten unit with my savings.

Inventor Petra Wadström presents her invention to President Obama
Inventor Petra Wadström presents her invention to President Obama

Solvatten has enabled me to expand my small business and subsequently improve my family’s quality of life. I advise those who do not have Solvatten to save up some money and buy it. It comes with a lot of benefits and it is a good way of saving money on energy costs”.

Namutebi’s husband commented “Everybody who passes by our home looks at the Solvatten, and they wonder what it is. Some of them have asked me about it when we meet, and I have been able to explain to them how it works – everyone that I meet is enthusiastic. The challenge is that our people have little money to buy the unit. I am trying to put together some money so that I can buy one for my mother”.

Namutebi is a housewife and mother to five children. She lives in Wakiso district, Uganda and runs a small business from her home, selling ice.
Namutebi is a housewife and mother to five children. She lives in Wakiso district, Uganda and runs a small business from her home, selling ice.

Picture: Namutebi. She is a housewife and mother to five children. She lives in Wakiso district, Uganda. Namutebi runs a small business from her home, selling ice.

Swedish Company Purifies Water in Africa, source: Solvatten