Principles of Development

The Safe Water Project follows four main principles of development

Local entrepreneurs who launch and operate small scale, grass root water projects are involved in both the planning and execution stages of the project. Communities are empowered to influence, manage, and shape their own development. This means that a water project in one area of the world can have a completely different course of action than a project somewhere else. Project teams are trained to build & test water purification systems, manage all areas of a project, teach their community about water safety, and inspect and maintain every filtration system.

Project scale and technical level are major components in determining if a technology is a good fit for a developing community. Biosand filters promote progress and independence and are at a high enough technical level to be managed by the community. Biosand filters are made of locally sourced materials and are constructed and assembled entirely by the project teams in Africa. Biosand filters are a low-tech solution with a high effectiveness removing up to 99.0% of viruses and up to 98.5% of bacteria from water.

The Safe Water Project provides an economic, social, and environmental benefit to communities in which it serves. Local teams run the organization as a small business and generate a revenue in exchange for products and services. The community benefits by increased health, productivity, and economic growth. The environment benefits from reduced deforestation to burn wood to boil water. Biosand filters can be built out of native materials and maintained without external support.

The Safe Water Project enables rural communities to capacity build by increasing the ability of the community to continue to develop without external support. Project leaders receive business training from Social Venture 101 in which they learn business skills and practices to operate a sustainable venture. Members of the community are also trained to become community health agents (CHA's). CHA's undergo sales training and sell biosand filters to members of the community by teaching the benefits of safe water. Once a community has a reliable source of safe water which they themselves can maintain and independently manage, that community can develop in other ways which go beyond water. Water is the first step. Capacity building is a long term process in which stakeholders of the project participate and contribute to shape their own development.