Accessing Clean Water and Economic Opportunity for Women

TechnoServe and Unilever are working in partnership to develop a new concept for sustainable water provision. Access to clean water is a major problem in Nigeria, with 36 percent of the population lacking access to improved water sources. Women bear a disproportionate cost of this, in time spent collecting water and in dealing with the consequences of ill-health in the family. To address this problem, we are piloting the concept of Sunlight Water Centers in eight peri-urban areas near Abuja. A Sunlight Water Center combines a borehole and a retail kiosk selling clean water and household products (including Unilever products), and is managed by a female entrepreneur from the locality. The vision is to facilitate access to clean water under a sustainable business model that covers the cost of building boreholes and maintaining them in years to come. The project hopes to expand to 1,000 franchised water centers across Nigeria and the rest of Africa.