Water For People Announces Investment from Case Foundation to Benefit Africa

Nov. 2, 2009
Expanded effort to provide multiple, sustainable water solutions

Water For People announced an investment from the Case Foundation to accelerate and expand its efforts to provide innovative, sustainable water solutions in Africa. This investment will be used to support an expansion of Water For People's programs, harnessing the power of local entrepreneurs to provide sustainable operations and maintenance support for a portfolio of community water solutions in Malawi, Rwanda and Uganda.

“Water For People views social entrepreneurship and innovation as a critical but underutilized element of sustainable water solutions,” said Ned Breslin, CEO of Water For People. “We are honored to be associated with the Case Foundation, which has been a leader in social entrepreneurship and is committed to bringing sustainable water solutions to those who need it most. This alliance will help unleash the power of the local private sector as a resource for development. Our shared goal is to dramatically improve the sustainability of a variety of rural water technologies, leading to a world where safe, sustainable water supplies are the norm not the exception.”

Water For People’s expansion efforts will be focused first in Malawi, then in Rwanda and Uganda, to stimulate and scale up innovative models using the local private sector’s capacity to provide ongoing operation, maintenance and repair services for an array of community water technologies. This will include an expansion of Water For People’s “circuit rider” program, where communities hire local entrepreneurs for effective operations and maintenance services that aim to enhance water source sustainability.

As part of these efforts, PlayPumps International - U.S. will be contributing its inventory of manufactured pumps to Water For People, broadening the technology options to be offered to communities. The combined, new resources announced by Water For People total roughly $2 million of funds, assets and in-kind support, complementing almost $2 million of direct funding from Water For People’s program base in Africa.

“We and others in the water sector have become increasingly aware that bringing safe water to those who need it most requires new and innovative approaches to give communities a choice of solutions and to ensure truly sustainable supplies,” said Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation. “Water For People is a passionate leader in this effort. These investments will allow Water For People to expand its offerings and leverage the power of the local private sector to end water poverty and transform lives.”

In the developing world, sustainability of community water supplies remains elusive largely due to limited technology options and poor ongoing operation and maintenance results. Water For People aims to transform the rural water sector by demonstrating alternative models that place social entrepreneurs at the forefront of water sector development to significantly reduce community water project failure and scale efforts in new ways.

Water For People will use the resources announced to accelerate and expand its programs around core elements including engagement of the private sector, deployment of safe water system technologies coupled with innovative operation and maintenance approaches and long-term monitoring.

Source: Water For People