SODIS Foundation

To develop and promote solutions for improving drinking water quality and health. For achieving this, we cooperate with the private, public and development sector in order to benefit people in Latin America.
May 12, 2011

May update

Dear Supporters,

This is a short update on our project to provide micro-credit for 100 suburban families in Cochabamba-Bolivia. As we have reported previously, the learning phase of this project provided us with a solid model for providing micro-credits to families in sub-urban neighbourhoods. The special aspect of this model is that three different organizations cooperate in order to provide an optimal service to these families:

  • A micro-finance institution is taking care of the financial aspects
  • A construction company carries out the hardware improvements
  • The SODIS Foundation provides technical advices and post-construction training

The credits all are destined for improving water and sanitation services: families can install a rainwater collection tank, connect to the water distribution network (where there is one), purchase water saving devices or construct a toilet, among other options. Thanks to the three institutions working together, families are sure the funds are used effectively and according to their specific needs.

Moreover, thanks to your donation, we can offer a lower-than market interest rate to these families. An annual interest rate of 9.75 is very attractive for Bolivia, where especially low-income families often only have access to profiteers charging as much as 30-40% annual interest rates.

As you may expect, which such an attractive model, the project is generating a lot of interest. In fact, this month we received a visit from KIVA, a world leading organization in the area of micro-credits. They found the model highly interesting and we are currently discussing options with them on how to scale it up. We will keep you informed on these exciting developments.

We also would like to point out to the “recurring donation campaign” on the Global Giving website. With this new feature, you can now donate over a certain period of time (e.g., $10 per month). Such donations help us to improve project planning and we would like to encourage you to make use of this function.

 

Thank you again for your support.

For the project team,

Links:

Mar 15, 2011

March Update and Special Opportunity

School kids in a school in Cochabamba (Bolivia)
School kids in a school in Cochabamba (Bolivia)

Dear supporters,

These are turbulent times around the globe. You probably have been watching the tragic and moving images coming in from Japan, but also from Northern Africa. Meanwhile, largely unnoticed by the global public, Bolivia also has seen some moments of social and political instability, mainly caused by a price hike of fuel and subsequently basic food supplies. In Cochabamba, actors of the transport sector (mostly micro-bus drivers) decided to block the whole city for several days in order to express their dissatisfaction with the current situation. In La Paz, torrential rains caused a hilltop to collapse in a poor neighbourhood, destroying at least 400 homes and burying people's belongings under mud and debris. Luckily, there were no fatalities from the landslide.

This situation also brought our project with schools in Bolivia to an temporary halt. For the moment, we are talking to several institutions who are interested in introducing our package of simple solutions to improve water and hygiene conditions at schools. As soon as the cities in Bolivia return to a more normal state (activities related to Carnival further aggravated the situation), we will take up these talks again and start with the planning of the next project phase.

At the same time, we keep implementing two other projects, which are also posted on Global Giving and which we would like to invite you to support. One project helps to improve water and sanitation services through micro-credit (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/micro-credit-for-improved-water-and-sanitation/), whereas the other will develop an indicator for Solar Water Disinfection (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/solar-water-disinfection-indicator/).

For all these projects, there is a special opportunity on March 16: All donations received on www.globalgiving.org on that day (up to an amount of $ 1,000) will be topped up by an additional 30% by the Global Giving Foundation. Make use of this special offer and make your donation 30% more effective by making a donation that day - and please tell others to do the same. Every donation makes a difference.

Thanking you for all your support,

Best regards,
Matthias Saladin

Links:

Mar 8, 2011

March Update Indicator Project

Sunlight makes water safe for drinking
Sunlight makes water safe for drinking

Dear supporters,

This is a short up-date on our project to develop and field-test an indicator for Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS). SODIS is a simple process to obtain safe drinking water by exposing it in transparent plastic bottles to sufficient amounts of sunlight (see www.sodis.ch). Depending on the intensity of radiation, the SODIS method will deliver safe drinking water either in 6 hours or in two days - and the difference between the two intensities is not always easy to tell. Therefore, the main idea of the SODIS indicator is to enable users of the SODIS method to detect the current level of sunlight intensity.

The project emerged from an open innovation challenge which was launched last year on the platform of InnoCentive (www.innoventive.com). More than 70 project teams handed in proposals on how a SODIS indicator may function and look like. The SODIS Foundation invited a team of international experts from research and industry to evaluate these proposals. The winning proposal came from a team of students at the University of Washington, who received the award of 40,000 USD donated by the Rockefeller Foundation. The solar-powered, re-usable device convinced the evaluators because of its design and its low price. Based on this experience, the students decided to set up their own non-profit organization (PotaVida: www.potavida.org) and keep developing the idea of a SODIS indicator.

In January, the SODIS Foundation, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (www.eawag.ch) and PotaVida managed to obtain funding for the technical development of a prototype. The design of the device is now reviewed again and different alternatives are evaluated. At the same time, we keep raising funds for the field testing, which will take place once the first prototype series has been developed and tested at laboratories. We look forward to these exiting developments and will keep you informed about progress on our side.

In the meantime, please support our work by spreading the word on this project further or by making a donation on the link below. Every donation will bring us a step closer to our main goal: make safe drinking water available to everybody.

By the way: On March 16, all donations will be complemented by another 30% by matching funds from the Global Giving Foundation. Take advantage of this special offer and support our project with a donation early on that day (matching funds are limited and will be allocated to the first $75,000 received that day on www.globalgiving.org).

Thank you for your support,

Best regards from the project team,

Links:

 
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