4Life Solutions: ESG | Water | Africa
How to impact a billion people for $100 Mio.
Bringing safe drinking water to 1 million people in low-income communities
5 Key Take-aways
on how to impact a billion people
from Jonas Pilgaard (CEO, 4Life Solutions) at our 22nd Investment Conference (2022)
Safe water is one of the biggest problems we have on Earth.
The SODIS technology has been known for 40 years.
It is simply the sun’s UV rays that kill bacteria, virus, and protozoa.
SaWa is the world’s most affordable water purification solution.
This low-tech technology has an adoption rate of more than 80% among local communities.
How to impact 1 billion people with $100 Mio.
– 4Life Solutions action explained in 5 min
taken from CM-Equity AGs 22nd Investment-Conference (October 2022), presented by: Jonas Pilgaard (CEO, 4Life Solutions)
3 Key Statements from the presentation:
“A technology that can purify water just using the power of the sun.“
“We work with accredited partners. We work with the UNICEF, the UNOCHA, the World Visions, the biggest NGOs in the world.“
“One of the biggest problems we have on Earth…2.2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water”
About 4Life Solutions
4Life Solutions is committed to bringing safe drinking water to 1 million people in low-income communities by 2030.
Resellers and Distributors in: Kenya, Tanzania
Resellers in: Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia
Transcript of Summary
“And they showed me a technology that could purify water just using the power of the sun. I was just like, “Really?” But yeah, really. This is low-tech, but it works and it works today. So can you impact a billion people for a hundred million dollars? I hope you would look at yourself right now and say, that’s not possible. I will show you in 10 minutes that it is.
So what about safe water? Is that a problem? It is, it is one of the biggest problems we have on earth. 2.2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water, leading to more than 500,000 children dying every year of waterborne diseases.
We are working with a technology called SODIS. It’s short for ‘solar disinfection’. SODIS has been known for 40 years, and it is very simple. It is simply the sun’s UV rays that kill bacteria, virus, and protozoa the same way we get a sun burn.
Sounds too good to be true. I know. But it has been known for 40 years and it was invented with PET bottles, that you put in the sun for 12 to 24 hours and then you had safe drinking water. The problem is that people don’t like to use trash and they don’t like to use plastic that emit another plastic into water.
So it’s never been a huge success. But our inventor, he knew about this technology. He knew he could do it better, so he invented SaWa. SaWa is short for ‘safe water’. It’s also Swahili for ‘this is good’. So you simply fill 4 liters of water into the bag. You put it in the sun for 4 hours, and then you have safe drinking water, safer than if you boiled the water.
It has a log4 to log5 reduction in bacteria, virus, and protozoa. It is very efficient. You can use it 500 times, making a total of 2000 liters of water for $3 that is making it the world’s most affordable water purification solution in the world. And it’s low-tech and it’s here right now.
Can you get any better than that? Well, it can, because like in IT, we develop all the time. So now we developed this one. It’s a jerry can. Very simple as well, seemingly, but we used all the knowledge, we have, all the IP that we have developed over the last 3 years to develop this one. This becomes transparent when you put water into it simply you put water into a jerry can, 6 liters now.
And then you have safe drinking water after 4 hours in the sun. This one you can reuse 900 times for 3 years, more than 5,000 liters of water, and it’s still only $3.
So is this relevant? What other alternatives do people have in low income communities? Well, there are 50 other solutions out there that are better than ours, but they cost more than $15, so they’re not relevant for low income communities.
So they have three alternatives. They can not do anything at all, which most of them do, about 70 to 75%. They never do anything with the water. They just drink it. And yes, they get very ill from that. 25% they boil the water, which leading to deforestation, a lot of CO2 emissions.
And then there’s a little bit of chlorine. And chlorine is very efficient in killing bacteria. It’s not very efficient in killing protozoa. But the problem with chlorine is that it is not very well adopted. People simply don’t like to drink chlorinated water. So if it was a very well adopted solution, there wouldn’t be any need for us.
But it’s not. So we need innovative solutions like this that are low-tech and can be used right now.
We work with accredited partners. We work with the UNICEF, the UNOCHA, the World Visions, the biggest NGOs in the world, because they are the ones that know the end users. They know the cultures, they know the people. And those are the ones that we rely on for implementation.
And that’s why we are super happy to figure out, that if we do implementations with the trusted partners, then we can get the adoption rates that we were hoping for. So we are doing 12 projects right now of from 10 to 35 thousand SaWa. And they all have an adoption rate of more than 80%. So it is a very well adopted technology.
We have done more than 152,000 SaWa in the market. It’s simply just to tell you: This is no longer a startup. It’s a scale up. We have the opportunity now with a proven product, proven technology, and proven adoption to scale this up to the millions.
And we are doing that, because when the governments figure out that they can actually get sustainable, safe, affordable drinking water, they jump at it. So right now we have signed MOUs with the Tanzanian government, with the Ugandan government, and with the South Sudanese government. And we have other governments that are very close to signing as well.
So just to tell you a little about the journey: In 2018, we had to prove the product, we had to get the proper global certification. Now we have WHO certification. You don’t get any better than that.
2019 and 20, we had proof of concept. We did the adoption rates, and in 2021 and 22, we have proved the business where people are paying the full $3 for our product. So now we are moving in to scaling with these national programs. So we expect a significant sales growth because there’s no country in Africa that wouldn’t jump at a solution where you can get safe drinking water to millions of people at this cost.
I hope that some of you will be interested in joining this solution, but why? I hope you know why by now, but the impact is amazing. We can literally help hundreds of millions of people get a better life.
There’s a unique business model behind this. Among other things with carbon offset, with the national models, we have a proven product, proven adoption, proven business, and there’s a growth phase that is government-anchored. Thank you very much!”