Scaling-up SAFE WATER

The Issue

Currently 1.8 million die from diarrheal diseases annually. Safe water can reduce the burden of the disease. Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS), is an intermediate option, particularly for individuals living on 1-3 dollars a day.

A solution – Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS)

Therefore, the creation of local and affordable HWTS products is key for many countries, especially in rural areas. In these zones its cheaper to have HWTS than piped water. In order to insure this, a sustainable supply chain production and production line are necessary.

Antenna has collaborated with the Swiss Development Agency (SDC) to support 7 business models which deliver safe water to the base of the economic pyramid. The objective is also to consolidate viable business model in order to replicate them in other countries.

What is Safe Water Phase 2

This is a three year initiative (2015-2018) aiming to increase access to safe water particularly for people living at the base of the economic pyramid (BOP), with a human right to water framework.

Key figures

Programme duration: 2015-2018

Total budget: Antenna financing, SDC, Aqua for All, IRC, FANSA: CHF 2,300,000

Impact: 2’000’000 beneficiaries/clients




KEY LEARNINGS OF SOCIAL WATER BUSINESS 3 business models work 4 business models in development



  • Hardly breaking-even if volumes are low
  • Vulnerable to shocks (climate, political)
  • Not enough cash flow to pass through the “valley of death”
  • Future earnings are far away: 5-10 years objectives


  • Financial profitability & capex challenges – Long term commitement and mindset
  • Volume AND blended finance needed to break-even (and have impact)
  • Strong Management is key (ethical sales agents, efficient procedures and team)
  • Impact to be measured, but has its cost, (human ressources, analysis, field trips)
  • Conducive regulation & business environment
  • Smart Subsidies – See Toolbox




The rationale

Giving away or subsidizing House Hold Water treatments (HWTS) such as chlorine or filters has not only distorted the market; it has also created an expectation that HWTS are goods which it is better to wait for than to buy. As a result, Antenna does not distribute its HWTS solution free of charge, but sells it at an affordable price and reinvests the income in research and manufacturing.

Our philosophy

“One of the reason that we believe very strongly in market based solutions in treating the poor as customers is that that levels the playing field we are now equals. My job is to give you what you desire, not to tell you what you want to take.”

Jim Patell – The Herbert Hoover Professor of Public and Private Management

Chlorine Flasks

Explanation: Liquides, poudres ou tablettes pour le traitement de l’eau à domicile, dont la plupart sont à base de chlore et sont ajoutés à l’eau avant consommation

Company: Tinkisso Antenna

Country : Guinea Conakry

Beneficiaries: 4 144 045 households

Cumulative units sold: 12 mio flask sold in Guinea

Price of the product (USD): 0.9

Products : Chlore C – 250 mL

Turnover(USD) : 2.4 million (2015)

Employed people :  approx. 80

Current replication: Pakistan, Nepal , Inde, Guinea

In Development: Burkina Faso, Congo, Bangladesh

Learn more

Ceramic Filters

Explanation: Dispositifs ou appareils domestiques traitant l’eau au point d’utilisation en petites quantités

Company: Hyrdrologic

Country: Cambodia

Beneficiaries: 2 565 000 (2017)

Cumulative Units sold: 513 000 units sold by end 2017 (Source)

Price of the product: US$20 to US$42 per filter

Products : Ceramic Water Purifiers (CWPs) –  Super Tunsai and original Tunsai

Turnover (USD) : 1,5 million (2017)

Employed people :  150 people

Current replication: Tanzania – Spouts of Water(Site web), Senegal – Basic Water needs

In Development: Ethopia – Aqua for All, Basic Water Needs), Senegal (Basic Water needs)

Link to Website


Explanation: Using a network of water kiosks, Spring Health (SH) offers daily delivery of 10 liter jerry cans of safe drinking water to the homes of people in rural communities that have traditionally been underserved by public and private water service providers.

Company: Spring Health

Country: India

Beneficiaries: 30,000 households (over 150,000 people) on a daily basis

Units Sold: approx. 300’000 jerricans of 10L sold per month Distribution Chanels: 200 kiosks

Price of the product:  home delivery of clean water for $0.07 per jerrican.

Products : Spring Health Jerrycan

Turnover(Euro) : 191’134 (2017`)

Employed people : FTE: 42 salaried (Indirect job creation) 600 across the value chain –employees

In Development: India (TARA), Nepal (ECCA)