The Water Crisis
Nearly one billion people on do not have access to clean, safe water - the equivalent of 1 in 8 people on the planet! Women and children so often bear the burden of walking for miles each day to fetch dirty water in open sources, full of water-borne disease, trapping them in a cycle of ill-health and poverty. The situation is dire, yet our message at Project Maji is one of hope. When you provide a community with clean water, you also empower them with the promise of a better future. Together with global citizens like you, we are changing the lives of some of the most marginalized communities in the world.
Join us in transforming the lives of those who have been left behind.
who we are
Through the power of solar-technology, Project Maji is bringing sustainable access to clean water across rural sub-Saharan Africa. Currently serving more than 50,000 people with 60 million litres of clean water per year, we are on a mission eradicate water poverty and scale across the continent. Our innovative, fit-for-purpose solution is replacing the thousands of broken hand pumps across rural Africa, serving off the grid communities who are otherwise left to fetch water from distant, unsafe water sources; at great risk to their health and at great cost to their livelihoods. Witnessing every day, the transformative effect water has on some of the world’s poorest communities, our sustainable solution is driving significant change into this global injustice.
Our vision is to provide 1 million people in sub-Saharan Africa with sustainable access to clean water by 2025.
Our journey began
with a puddle
After witnessing the shocking, but all too common scene of children collecting dirty water from a roadside puddle in rural Africa, CEO and Founder Sunil Lalvani used his experience in consumer electronics to develop and deploy a solar-powered pump, to sustainably deliver clean, safe water to a village in rural Ghana; coining the CSR project 'Maji' (Maji meaning water in Swahili). Witnessing the transformative effect of clean water on just one community, Sunil was inspired to scale the solution across the continent; and so, Project Maji was born. From a small CSR initiative in rural Ghana, to now a pan-African NGO, Sunil and his dedicated team at Project Maji are on a mission to eradicate water poverty, with transform the lives of those in need.
How we work
What we do
How we work
The Maji Solution
Long considered a symbol of development aid, the default solution to the water crisis has so far been the humble handpump. Yet rural communities often lack the necessary funds and technical know-how to carry out maintenance, which means they frequently fall into disrepair. In fact, did you know that at any given time across the sub-Saharan Africa, up to 40% of handpumps lie broken across the continent? At Project Maji, we are on a mission to change that. Sustainability is at the very heart of what we do, and when we give clean water to a community, we pledge that it will remain truly sustainable for years to come.a
The Project Maji Solar-Powered Water Kiosk can be installed anywhere that underground water is available. Using solar pumping technology, water is extracted from sustainable underground aquifers, stored in an elevated tank, and then dispensed through multiple gravity fed taps, which means no more waiting in long queues at the handpump! The entire facility is easy to assemble on site and pumps 5,000 liters of water per day. Requiring no electricity grid, our solution cost effective, scalable, and measurable. A mobile monitoring system is installed at every site, to allow us to remotely keep a constant track on the status of each facility. In the unlikely event of a malfunction, we are able to send a local technician to the relevant site for the required repairs. With solar-powered energy and constant remote monitoring.
In 2010, the United Nations recognized “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights.” The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a blueprint to achieving a better and more sustainable future for all of humanity, and a call to action to end poverty, tackle climate change and address global development issues. The SGDs are interconnected, whereby the key to the success of one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.
At Project Maji, while our area of focus is SDG 6: Clean water and Sanitation, we are also positively impacting SDG 5, SDG 4 and SDG 3, 17 as well as numerous others.
Sharing the burden with their mothers, children around the world spend 200 million hours each day collecting water, which takes valuable time away from school. But while education is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty, one in three schools around the world still have no access to clean water. The World Health Organisation estimates that investment in clean water yields an additional 272 million school attendance days per year. Less sick days and less time walking for water means more time for school! Each year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent.
For communities living with water poverty, the daily task of water collection for domestic use most often falls to young women.
Carrying heavy vessels of water, often weighing up to 20 kilos, the journey to the nearest water source is often long and treacherous; exposing women to the risk of attack and depriving them of valuable, productive time which could otherwise be spent with their families or earning an income to improve their livelihoods. The United Nations estimates that sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion work hours per year collecting water; the equivalent to an entire year’s worth of labour in France! But while women and girls shoulder the majority of the world’s water burden, they also stand the most to gain from access to clean water. With less time devoted to fetching water, women have more time to pursue and improve their economic situation.
Drinking the water in sub-Saharan Africa is just as hazardous as retrieving it. More than half of the world's hospital beds filled with people suffering from a water-related disease. 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease. An absolute tragedy when you consider that this is entirely preventable, simply by providing communities access to clean water and sanitation. Every glass of dirty water is a potential killer.
When we install a Project Maji solar-powered water kiosk in a rural village, we provide sustainable, clean water for years to come. However, our work doesn’t end there. Sustainability is at the very heart of our values, and thereby we ensure that the communities we serve, understand the importance of safe hygiene practices. That is why we work in the field with our local partners to deliver Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) training to our beneficiaries.
Where we work
Currently serving over 50,000 people across Ghana and Kenya, we remotely monitor all our sites to
ensure our solution is truly sustainable.
We are truly grateful to work with partners who, like us, are committed to solving the water crisis. We work with private
donors, fellow NGOs, governments, commercial enterprises and private institutions; all of whom share our vision
for sustainable change. We also collaborate with artists, influencers and content creators, who bring passion and
creativity to this cause, raising awareness and engaging the global community.
If you or your organisation would like to join us in our mission to end water poverty, there are several ways you can partner to help us both achieve our goals. Our dedicated team can work with you to create a programme that supports your mission and maximises impact, proving that doing good is good for business!