The vast majority of Pakistanis do not consistently use a micro-biologically safe source of drinking water, putting them at risk of developing water-borne illnesses. How do we increase access to and ensure consistent usage of safe drinking water in low income urban communities of Pakistan?
THE 5 PILLARS OF INNOVATION:
Based on our experiences running a community based water treatment facility in Karachi since August 2016, collecting user data through scores of customer interviews, and serving nearly 2.5 million litres of safe drinking water in our pilot community, we have identified 5 pillars of innovation to work on that we believe are essential to develop a robust, scalable and sustainable model. They are:
Product innovation to drive demand for Safe water
In our work, we are innovating with different storage containers for safe water, focusing on designing a product that will communicate quality, evoke trust, be easy to carry for children, and become part of people's daily routines. We believe user centered design and product innovation are both undervalued aspects of behavior change in global health.
Last mile delivery of safe water for end consumer convenience
Currently we distribute water in using a network of over 65 community retailers, and we are building tools to optimize this channel while exploring other distribution channels as well. We are trying to understand the sweet spot which will maximise consumer convenience while keeping the price of water affordable for the end consumer.
Remote sensing for monitoring and quality control
Sensor based tools and internet-of-things (IOT) technologies make the remote monitoring of facilities possible at a low cost. Sukoon Water is partnering with researchers in Pakistan to develop remote monitoring tools and systems that are robust and cost effective enough help manage a large network of decentralized water treatment facilities.
Safe household storage & cooling of water for maximum health impact
The primary method for cooling water in Karachi is through slabs of contaminated ice that can be purchased easily at corner stores. Such behavior patterns often make our treatment efforts go to waste. At Sukoon Water, we are developing ways for people to safely store and cool water at home without requiring electricity. This project stems from an organizational responsibility to ensure our work is actually having an impact on the ground.
Optimisation Of The Delivery Model For Financial Sustainability And Scale
Some of the larger questions that Sukoon Water needs to consider for the short-to-medium term relate to the scaling strategy. Should we have one plant per community or should we operate through a hub-and-spoke model? What are the optimal sizes of our production and distribution operational units? Such questions will be essential as we think about scaling Sukoon Water's model.