New Solutions to an Old Problem: How the Internet of Things, Water Kiosks and Sensor Data are Improving Access to WASH in Kenya
When well water systems break down due to a lack of monitoring or maintenance, people can go days or even weeks without access to water for themselves and their livestock. The Kenya RAPID program seeks to solve this problem by applying innovative technology and data to improve water management and distribution. Paul Wiedmaier at Catholic Relief Services explores how the program is already making a significant impact on water access in Kenya.
As Steven Spielberg once said, cinema’s power of persuasion is shown by getting “everybody to clap at the same time.” Likewise, successful entrepreneurs must also tell stories with persuasion and purpose, says Ami Dalal at FINCA Ventures. She explores how effective storytelling can help an enterprise build its brand and attract investors, customers and talent, and shares two essential approaches to help early-stage companies craft compelling narratives.
The Hard Reality of Sanitation: Why Public Sector Support is Key to Entrepreneurial Success in Emerging Markets
Roughly 2.3 billion people lack basic sanitation, and over half the global population lack a safely managed service. This spells opportunity for social entrepreneurs – but as Sam Drabble at Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor points out, these businesses face huge systemic challenges and cannot succeed without support. He highlights some solutions that could boost these companies' chances of success.
You've probably seen the TV show "Shark Tank," in which small-scale entrepreneurs compete for funding from a panel of wealthy investors. The Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge for Development took a similar approach – but the stakes were far higher: The goal was to generate solutions to water shortages that already affect over 2 billion people, before population growth escalates these shortages into a perpetual global crisis. Ku McMahan, team lead for the Challenge, discusses its unique approach and surprising impact.
Around 2.7 billion people – 35 percent of the world’s population – use on-site sanitation systems that are not connected to sewers. When they become full, they need to be emptied – a job that’s often done manually, presenting hazards to both the workers and their communities. Pit Vidura is tackling this challenge in Kigali, Rwanda, offering safe hygienic pit latrine and septic tank emptying for people in hard-to-reach areas. Katie Sottilare discusses the company’s innovative approach, and the impact it’s having.
Thank you to everyone who voted in NextBillion's seventh annual Top Post of the Year contest. Here are the winners and their vote percentage totals as well as the complete results for this year's competition. Congratulations to the top three winning contributors for their articles, which both challenged and enlightened us. And Happy New Year to all of our readers.
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