The Trafigura Foundation has been supporting the programme in the Philippines, since 2009. The purpose of this programme is to supply reasonably-priced running water in slums under a social business model.
In the urban slums of developing countries, access to clean and safe drinking water is a major issue. Water can be purchased, although at a very high price and of impure quality, often to the point of causing chronic diseases. Eau & Vie, French for ‘water and life’, relies on social entrepreneurship as a way to create solutions to this issue that involves the local community and promotes income generation.
The local population is encouraged to take part in the development of small companies that create and manage fresh water supply networks. These small social concessions provide good quality water to the community at a reasonable cost. Other aspects of this social entrepreneurship scheme include:
- Distribution of drinking water at home for one-third of the price with collection based on the principles of micro-credit
- Hygiene and environment awareness trainings
- Installation of sanitary complexes
- Fire-fighting system managed by trained members of the community
In 2017, 1,895 families (10,400 people) in Cavite and 1,381 families (7,600 people) in Cebu were connected to a running water network. This innovative model puts a major emphasis on the community’s involvement in awareness activities such as fire-fighting prevention (fires are a major risk in the slums), solid waste management sessions, and spreading hygiene and sanitation good practices. Over 200 people in both provinces (including 90 women) were trained as firefighting volunteers.
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