ENERGY GLOBE
Suriname

WINNER:
BOSAQ

With the Project:
Decentralized drinking water supply in remote communities in inner Suriname

The inland of Suriname has around 37,000 inhabitants who do not have access to improved drinking water sources. Since women are responsible for fetching water, large gender inequalities exist with about 50% of the women being analphabetic. The organization BOSAQ is implementing a drinking water project in Suriname in which five different villages with around 3,000 people will be provided with clean drinking water, based entirely on renewable energy by means of the SolarAQ, a decentralized drinking water unit. Furthermore, a second project was signed directly with the government of Suriname to provide ten additional villages with a population of 6,000 people also with clean drinking water. After completion of the project, more than 10% of the population of the remote inland of Suriname will be provided with drinking water, and the goal is to expand to the entire inland. The availability of drinking water will stimulate micro-development and will allow for year-round education.

INITIAL SITUATION

Suriname has a total of 576,000 inhabitants, with 13% living in the remote inland, mostly in the Sipaliwini district. As 93% of Suriname are covered with rainforest, these regions are difficult to access, often only by boat or small airplanes. These locals live in communities around the shores of the rivers and do not have access to clean drinking water; they drink either directly from the river or from creeks in the jungle close to the village. Due to mining activities, the river water is contaminated with microbes and chemicals. During the dry seasons, the creeks dry out and people are forced to drink directly from the river or women are sent to fetch water deeper in the jungle. In these periods, teachers from the cities do not come down to the inland to teach, with a serious education backlog as a result for the children of the communities.

SOLUTION

BOSAQ has a clear mission: to provide the world with clean drinking water in a sustainable and socially responsible way. The fact that this project ensures drinking water to initially 3,000 people (in execution) and in a second phase to 6,000 more, in a very remote region where currently no solution is available and no infrastructure (e.g., electricity) is present, is the main motivation why the entire team is going the extra mile to make this project succeed. Furthermore, the fact that this project is part of an integral approach for a sustainable drinking water supply for the complete inland of Suriname, eliminating as such a direct cause for the lack of education and women’s empowerment, is another reason. 10% of the organization’s profit goes to the self-managed NGO ‘Water Heroes’ that donates installations of units to projects that have an established social framework but not the budget to provide a drinking water production unit.

INNOVATION

River water is purified using the innovative SolarAQ-technology that provides a reliable all-in-one solution for a fully automatic purification and distribution of the clean drinking water at very low costs. Due to the low costs, micro development is stimulated and local committees can set up water vending points. The water purification units can rely entirely on solar power which is important in an area without access to reliable electricity. Since a lot of time can be saved when women don’t have to fetch water every day, they can access education a lot easier. Finally, in order to guarantee the continuation of the project, awareness is created among locals about the importance of healthy drinking water and correct maintenance of the water units.

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