Solar power used to purify water in Cambodia, Madagascar and India

An employee from Rexel France sponsored 1001 Fontaines, non-for-profit organization who delivers clean drinking water in isolated area


Description of the project

1001fontaines, a French-not-for-profit organisation, has developed a solution in the form of a water treatment unit, powered by solar panels, which can deliver clean drinking water to villagers at an affordable price. With financial support from Ecodays and the Rexel Foundation, 1001fontaines will be able to fund research and development into further improving their water treatment units, composed of micro filters, UV lamps and solar panels. Many people in developing countries who are used to drinking surface water, or groundwater, often do not understand the negative impact it has on their health and particularly on their children’s health. They may not take the necessary precautions like boiling water before drinking it because of the associated costs of buying wood for the fire.


Interview from the sponsor of 1001 Fontaines

Emmanuel says that 1001fontaines’ franchise business model which relies on local partners to deliver safe drinking water and uses a solar-powered water filtration unit developed by the association, caught his attention for two reasons.

"I have done a lot of volunteering work since the 1990’s in the developing world and although many of these countries, such as Cambodia, whose own world famous Mekong river floods every year, have abundant access to water, it is more often than not, heavily contaminated and unsuitable for human consumption. My mum who works as a pediatrician, has been travelling to Cambodia on volunteering missions to treat children there over the past five years. Many of the kids she treats are malnourished or suffer water borne diseases, most commonly chronic diarrhea,”.

“When you’ve volunteered in the developing world for several years, you quickly realize that it’s not enough to arrive from abroad, provide new technologies and then leave the local community to cope on their own. You have to provide training and a sustainable business model that will ensure that whatever technology is in place engages the local community. You need to be able to train interested parties in managing, maintaining and growing the business after you have left. 1001fontaines does exactly that.”

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