Campbell Co ApS

Pedal Powered Water Purification Concept for African Villages

During the Commerce and Company Authorities competition for social and environmental innovation, Campbell Co. help the water purification company PureH2O to develop a new kind of water purification machine.

Challenge

More than 1.1 billion people in the world lack access to clean drinking water, and 3.4 million people die of waterborne diseases each year. The victim are primarily children. The rural populations of Sub-Saharan African countries suffer from the worst access to clean water.

Diagnosis

The problem with existing technologies and products in the marketplace is that they often are too complicated to maintain for the local population. It often means that when one part breaks, the machine becomes unusable due to difficulties replacing or repairing the part – a well-known problem in development circles. During the concept development process, it became clear that PureH2O was in possession of technology that could be developed into a concept that would both provide the rural population in Africa better access to clean drinking water and  also be good for the business.

Solution

The water purification machine is driven by pedal power and works as follows: surface water from a lake, a river or a well is pumped into a filtration unit where particles, bacteria and viruses are neutralized and removed.  The now clean water travels into a storage tank, and from there to communal water taps in the village center (see picture).

Pure H2O illustration af Jacob Wedendahl

The machine does not need a generator or other power source, since the energy for the operation is generated by pedal power. The biggest muscle group in the human body is located in the thigh and they may be “harvested” to provide 100 -200 watts / hour. This energy is used for production of clean and safe drinking water. Therefore, the machine is 100% environmentally friendly. The water purification machine is then connected with a water station, where you can buy clean, safe drinking water at competitive prices.

A freight container outfitted with taps can be used as a water shope or exchange. From here, local women selling water to locals and following up and run a business. These are tiny transactions, but the economy is calculated from an average village with 300 inhabitants, each daily drinking 1 liter of clean water. A water supply system is estimated to cost €4,000 when 100 units have been sold, and €3,000 by the time 1,000 units have been sold. Revenues from the water panel can be used to pay for the water station and to guarantee women an income so they can feed their children. Women who own a water center can be trained in cleaning the filter of the water purification machine – a very simple procedure. In addition, they learn about the consequences of drinking unclean water, i.e. that it can cause severe illness and thus potentially lost income.  The program establishes “Water Service Teams” who establish a business based on the need for spare parts and engine service so that the production unit can produce water and thus income to such an extent as possible.

Results

‘In collaboration with Campbell Co.  PureH2O won second place in the competition “Idéfaktor” run by the Commerce and Companies Agency.  Campbell Co. is a company with both commitment and insight at every level from the top down, and I can only recommend a collaboration with them’.

– Jesper Ellegaard, CEO PureH2O

Tags: Afrika, H2O

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