In its quest to alleviate suffering from a severe water crisis, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) was recently awarded the Energy Globe Award for its solar-powered water kiosks based in the Mocuba municipality of central Mozambique.
“The ADRA Solar Powered Water Kiosk pilot has taken more than three years of hard work by the dedicated team at ADRA Mozambique to perfect,” Jason Brooks, senior technical advisor for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) at ADRA International, said. “However, the innovation and dedication combined have allowed ADRA to develop a solid concept that, if built upon, could revolutionize safe water supplies in peri-urban communities where access to reliable piped water systems is limited.”
Brooks added that the first three kiosks have proven the case for financially sustainable, locally managed small water enterprises.
Organizations from more than 180 countries entered the global competition. Reportedly, the competition received more than 25,000 submissions.
Project categories included Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Youth, and the special category of Sustainable Start-Ups that increase energy efficiency, demonstrate sustainable use of the planet's resources, and contribute to environmental education.
Before the project spearheaded by ADRA in Mocuba, at least 80 percent of the local population had been using contaminated water for their basic needs, posing serious health risks, including cholera and other waterborne diseases.
ADRA’s objective was to increase the use of water kiosks as safe and sustainable drinking water sources in the targeted communities. Replacing the typical hand pumps with drilled wells to get access to safe water, ADRA installed three water kiosks constructed from repurposed shipping containers.
The water kiosks also treat the water to provide communities with reliable, long-term access to safe drinking water through a market-based enterprise model. Two of the three kiosks are powered by renewable energy, and the pumping is done using solar energy.
Additional services such as cellphone and electricity credits and hygiene products are sold at the kiosks to boost revenue and pay operating and maintenance costs.
Thanks to the solar-powered kiosks, more than 5,000 households are receiving safe water for basic needs. At the same time, the kiosks also provide employment and access to basic service and hygiene supplies for the communities.
“ADRA would like to thank our partners Grundfos and the General Conference Adventist Health Ministries as we look forward to scaling up this innovation around the world in the coming years to do our part in reaching the more than four billion people who struggle without reliable access to affordable, safe water,” Brooks said.