How many miles would you walk each day to get hold of water if no other options were available? Dozens, probably. This is the reality for many women and children in Africa today. Still, there is no guarantee the water is safe to use. Solvatten is an amazingly innovative product that solves this problem. Hecksher is super proud to contribute by doing what we do best – transporting the goods – helping out with shipments that make a real difference.
What is Solvatten?
The Solvatten foundation is a social and purpose-driven enterprise with headquarters in Sweden. Their mission is to provide people living in developing countries with safe, clean, and hot water in a portable and environmentally-friendly way. The Solvatten product is a combined portable water treatment and water heating system designed for off-grid household use in the developing world. Thanks to its durable design, it provides an affordable and convenient way to get safe, clean, and hot water to people worldwide.
The Solvatten unit is filled with water that goes through a filter and is placed in direct sunlight. The water is heated and exposed to ultraviolet radiation, which purifies it. An indicator tells the user when the process is complete – a sad, red face changes to a happy, green face, making it easy for even the smallest children to understand. This way, millions of primarily women and children don’t have to walk dozens of miles each day to fetch water and firewood and risk drinking contaminated water that leads to diseases.
Since 2018, Hecksher (part of Greencarrier Group) has been a proud partner to Solvatten and their sole shipping provider. In 2022, we made three shipments to help Solvatten reach into rural communities where some of the most vulnerable families live.
The Solvatten units were picked up by truck at the production site in Sweden for further sea transport to Kenya, South Africa, and Yemen. Our main priority was to optimise the container space – utilising every cubic metre – to avoid empty mileage, lower emissions, and minimise the environmental impact of our shipments.
During 2022, Hecksher also donated Solvatten units to communities and families in Burkina Faso and Kenya, where poor access to safe water and deforestation has long been a huge problem. The donations were made through the Greencarrier Spirit Fund, where our employees turn the money from the fund into rewarding projects.
In Kenya, 15 million people lack access to safe water in their homes. Two-thirds of the population live without access to electricity, which makes them dependent on firewood and charcoal. Meanwhile, the deforestation rate is high – only 7% of the country’s forests remain today. Boiling 1 litre of water over an open fire requires 0,4 kg of firewood. This gives an average of 12 kg of firewood per household to treat, heat, and boil water.
In Burkina Faso, sustainable access to water for drinking is a significant challenge, including more than 1.74 million individuals who are internally displaced. In 2020, 52% of the population did not have access to basic drinking water services.
Enabling families to use solar power instead of burning biomass creates several positive synergies for both people and the planet. Thanks to Solvatten, 100 000 families have access to clean, safe, hot water. This has led to fewer cases of stomach diseases and decreased eye and skin infections, lung problems, and malnutrition resulting from stomach worms.
In addition to preventing diseases and improving health, access to clean water is essential for creating more secure self-providence and resilient communities. It reduces inequalities and improves the chances of education for women and children.
Using the Solvatten units also helps save trees. In fact, since 2009, Solvatten has reduced the need to burn over 1500 hectares of forest.
We are glad to help Solvatten reach into rural communities where some of the most vulnerable families live. By doing what we do best – transporting the goods – we can contribute to Solvatten’s vision of a world where everyone lives a healthy and dignified life with access to safe, clean, and warm water – a vision that we are happy to carry.
Do you also want to improve the lives of millions of people living off-grid? Visit Solvatten today and explore ways to collaborate. Here you can learn more about what Hecksher does to create a more sustainable tomorrow.