Access to drinking water for all in emergencies and natural disasters

Access to drinking water for all in emergencies and natural disasters

BangladeshLYON, France
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Aquasure S.A.S., entreprise sociale française, pastille et unité mobile de potabilisation d'eau en situation d'urgence pour tous: Force d’Intervention Immédiate

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In the wake of natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes etc. the lack of drinking water has a direct impact on the health conditions of the affected populations. The only water available is generally muddy and contaminated. The development of a simple and effective water treatment tool that local people can easily use is a priority: in the case of flooding, the first thing to run short is drinking water! This tool must be mobile, light and robust, while being easy to store. It must be designed for systematic, long-term use. An effective response cannot and must not rely on foreign aid alone. It is crucial to act quickly and sustainably as soon as possible after the disaster.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Aquasure has developed a mobile water treatment solution, simple to store, simple to transport, simple to use and effective, structured around the Aquasure water treatment tablet and the Aquasure Kit. 1 kit + 1 bucket of tablets lasts 1000 people for 1 week. A bucket of Aquasure tablets is the equivalent of 6 trucks, each carrying 5 tonnes of drinking water. And in the case of flooding, these trucks would not be reach anyone! In Bangladesh, Aquasure is trialling an Immediate Response Force. For optimal response time, the kits will be pre-positioned in each community, where operators will be chosen, trained and regularly monitored. These operators will form a unique network, the first local emergency response force in the world to provide drinking water, run by local communities, for local communities. The recipients themselves will be the primary stakeholders and their direct involvement will encourage them to take ownership of the project and its sustainability.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

In September 2008, in Haiti, Hurricane Ike transformed the city of Gonaïves into a field of water and sludge. The population was totally cut off. The drinking water supply network and wells were polluted. Within a few hours, it was possible to distribute drinking water in the flooded city centre, using the Aquasure Kit and tablet. Light and compact, the kit could be transported by boat then carried. Local operators were trained during the first day of treatment and continued water production in the days that followed. Therefore, the recipients themselves will be the primary stakeholders and their direct involvement will encourage them to take ownership of the project, ensuring its sustainability.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Competitors Water purification tablets only treat clear water and are intended for individual use. Sachets of water purification powder are the most direct competitors, because they are effective in turbid water, but they act simultaneously. As a result, the treated water generally tastes too much of chlorine and is not consumed by recipients. Aquasure is also competing with water purification units, although none are both light, mobile and easy to use. Adoption of the Aquasure Kit and tablet by emergency organisations (NGOs) could have an impact on the success and growth of Aquasure.

Founding Story

After using Aquasure tablets in the field during several natural disasters, the founder of Aquasure realised that a bucket of tablets was the equivalent of six trucks each carrying five tonnes of water and that these trucks would never reach the most isolated places. The most vulnerable populations therefore had no access to drinking water during the days, or even weeks that passed before the arrival of national and/or international aid. Working with its partners, Aquasure developed the smallest mobile water treatment plant in the world: the Aquasure Kit. When combined with Aquasure tablets and half a day of training, this "treatment plant on wheels" enables any willing person, in any of the world's local communities, to take control of their fate and escape their dependence on aid. The long-term vision is that, around the world, the recipients themselves become the primary stakeholders.
About You
Aquasure S.A.S.
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Aquasure S.A.S.

Organization Country


Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Quality.

Social Impact
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

Reduction of the impact on health of natural disasters through improved access to drinking water for all in emergencies. Takeover of a water treatment solution by local communities during disasters, so the recipients themselves become the primary stakeholders.
Reduction in post-disaster epidemics and displacement of populations.
Self-sufficiency of populations experiencing natural disasters through the coverage of basic needs during emergencies.
Production and distribution of drinking water as soon after the disaster as possible, even in isolated areas.
Establishment of a network of operators and pre-positioned stocks of kits and tablets (in schools, hospitals)
Sharing of experiences and expansion.
A standardised solution.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

This project is being trialled and at this stage, has obtained expressions of interest and support from several key government and civil society stakeholders in Bangladesh, such as the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE), UNICEF, alongside the Brac NGO and NGO Forum.
In using Aquasure tablets elsewhere, Aquasure S.A.S. has obtained significant results in terms of social, health and economic impact.
Social impact: Access to drinking water for BOPs (bottom of the pyramid populations)
Reduction in school truancy (from 6% to 1%)
Sense of dignity and pride in being involved in the development of their community
Promotion of hygiene and campaigns to raise awareness
Health impact: Reduction in water-borne diseases (diarrhoea reduced by 90% in recipient village populations/Senegal, Madagascar)
Economic impact: Economic development and value creation

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

Strengthening of local capacity in terms of natural disaster response.
Improved resilience of local populations to climate change.
Reduction of the health, economic and social impact of natural disasters.
Improved access to drinking water and access to care for BOPs.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

It is crucial that the rest phase of the project is launched before the hurricane season and monsoon season in Bangladesh, otherwise the test would be delayed by a year.
The finalisation of the legal and logistical procedures is one of the biggest obstacles occupying the entire Aquasure S.A.S team.
A growing number of countries are suffering an increasing number of natural disasters. Aquasure needs to develop a network of social agents and entrepreneurs to make this solution available and benefit as many people as possible.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

The establishment of an immediate response force, jointly managed by the local government, participating NGOs and Aquasure.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Establishing local partners to identify target regions, operators and potential storage locations.

Task 2

Strengthening the capacity of local Aquasure structures to deliver the project on the ground (execution, follow-up, evaluation)

Task 3

Evaluating, optimising and developing the project for expansion; September 2012 to February 2013.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Enhancement of the Bangladesh project and reproduction of the project in South East Asia and the Caribbean basin (affected areas

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

The meticulous and successful establishment, with precision and discipline, of an emergency response force in Bangladesh.

Task 2

Documenting this success in the economic and social impact on recipient populations.

Task 3

Promoting this emergency solution among the world's biggest stakeholders (UNICEF, NGOs, governments, social enterprises, b [word

Tell us about your partnerships

Aquasure has developed partnerships with the Crisis Centre of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, international NGOs and other local associations.

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your innovation? If so, where and why?

The Aquasure project is currently focussed on Bangladesh, which is particularly susceptible to climate change and increasingly affected by flooding and hurricanes.
This is a pilot project designed to be reproduced in any country highly susceptible to natural disasters, such as the countries of South East Asia and the Caribbean Basin.
Aquasure also responds, through its partners, to any emergency.
Aquasure has also developed low cost ways to provide drinking water in villages

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

A streamlined structure, drawing on the abilities of local and international networks.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

We are privileged to have been invited to celebrate 30 years of Ashoka at INSEAD in Paris and we completely share your values.