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3 concepts that help lighten the burden of water collection for women in the developing world

The collection of water forms a significant part of the daily routine for most people in developing countries. It is largely women who bear this responsibility. This collected water is used for not only drinking, but many basic everyday tasks including: Household cleaning Laundry Personal hygiene Growing crops Preparing food Caring for livestock We're looking to design a way to reduce the amount of time and effort women spend collecting water in developing countries. These are our concepts so far & Please feel free to comment on your thoughts!

Photo of Dylan Mckimm
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1. Contaminated water is a major issue. It leads to kids taking time out of schools while men and women struggle to provide for their families under this condition. 
We're looking at designing a filter that can be used to improve the Jerrycan. The idea was to design a new screw on filter cap that can be attached to existing jerrycans/ containers that filters water as it is filled.  

2. Reducing their queuing and filling time. A lot of time is wasted in the day waiting to fill their Jerry-can. We've been looking at a product that would attach onto existing wells, rope pumps, pumps that will allow multiple containers to be filled at one given time.

This also introduces an improved benefit of women working together to gather, finish, and travel home in a group.

3. Find a way to manipulate the climate/ environmental assets they already have. We are looking at rain and dew collection that could either bring communities together - to work together/ bring water closer to the home. 

We're looking at a designing a collapsable structure that could open up during the rainy season. People would only need to add plastic sheeting to the product to collect water.

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Women in the developing countries across Africa.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

Testing natural filters & existing commercial filters, prototyping dew and rain collection methods from different objects, materials, and shapes.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

Constructive criticism, taking on questions we have not yet uncovered/acknowledged. Any feedback would help immensely. Thanks!

5 comments

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Photo of Guille Rubio
Team

Well I really think that is a great idea. Why? well, if the filters are cheap and affordable for them it can be a great improvement but I will suggest to take into account that in many countries in Africa, the time when the women go and fill up their water bottles is the only time they expend out of home and with another women alone and this is an exclusive moment to socialize with each other so i think that keeping is important. But the idea of coming back home together and organizing groups for improving security is great .

Finally the idea of bringing and taking the resources their already have to try to collect water is the right choice, i do not know if it will be the most efficient but pretty sure it will be the cheapest and being a community with few resources I think is the first priority to make it tangible.

Love it!

Photo of Dylan Mckimm
Team

Hi Guille, sorry for the late response!

I really like your point about the water collection process as a social platform. It is really important! I recently read a case study on the Hippo Roller product on site in African countries. The product was popular to the extent that it encouraged men to join in on using this piece of equipment for collecting water.
The unforeseen downside was that exact point you mentioned - it stripped away that time women spent with one another. We'll definitely keep this in mind going forward.

Regarding their resources, we see massive benefit from designing something that could bee locally produced. We believe it would encourage self- sufficiency and maintenance. But as you probably know it has a lot of unknown variables such as quantity and quality of resources vary between villages. Without going over for first hand research, we'd be risking in designing a product that has been based off of numerous assumptions.

What do you think?

Photo of Neha Vedre
Team

Great Idea Dylan! I think concept 3 is the cheapest and efficient way to collect water for daily needs. If this idea works out families can save a lot of time and can make great use of natural rainwater without having to travel long. However, I wonder if it is ok to rely on frequent rains because I am not aware if these places attain enough rains?

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Exciting stuff! You might like to connect with the folks at One Acre Fund: https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/research/delivering-clean-water-to-children-in-rural-communities-the-example-of-chlorine-in-kenya to seek their feedback on your ideas given their work on the ground in Kenya. They might even prove to be collaboration partners?

Photo of Dylan Mckimm
Team

Thanks Meena, really appreciate the link!