The Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition is an activity within the framework of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.

INUMA purified water for rural and perri-urban areas

Your title/position Managing Director
Type of Enterprise registered company
Year the ngo or company was founded 2014
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Explain your project in details:

INUMA is an affordable decentralized water infrastructure. It is at the same time : (1) a water collection facility, (2) a water treatment facility (3) and distribution microgrid facility/network all in one place. INUMA was designed to be and is technically and financially scalable. From one groundwater source through a powerful solar pump and 3-stage filtration process, one INUMA creates a powerful mini-grid to service households with clean, safe, reliable and affordable water all powered by renewable energy. An INUMA Network is made of three parts: 1. The Nexus: is the central and first step that includes a water source, a three stage filtration system, energy source, a storage tank and two taps at the front for walk-up customers. 2. The Node: is simply a kiosk building with storage inside that is connected to the nexus and can also service water to walk-up customers 3. The NOW: or private connection, is any outlet from an INUMA network pipeline into a household, clinic, school or other institution. 4. The Nano: is a smaller Nexus model for smaller communities Through this project, WARwanda aims to: 1. Increase the percentage of individuals happy with their water source 2. Reduce the individual expenditure on good water systems in Rwanda 3. Employ 100 young people in Rwanda by the end of 2020 towards providing great water systems 4. Eliminate the use of coal in treating water 5. Reducing carbon emissions to the environment by eliminating the use of firewood as a means of ensuring water is safe when boiled

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Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development

WARwanda builds and professionally maintains INUMA safe water systems that is empowered by Water4, our partner. INUMA outlets sell water to walk up customers and wholesale distributors from up to four different locations within a community. When an INUMA network is set up in a community, it delivers a definitive blow to economic water scarcity by providing reliable access to clean. This has major impact on the health and education of the beneficiary communities. Through WARwandas 19 INUMA kiosks, we are able to have an impact on youth employment by having provided employment to 34 people in Rwanda. In one sector, Mageragere where WARwanda set up 6 INUMA systems, the community had lost 3 lives to crocodiles that inhabited the river they had as their only water source. There has been ZERO deaths from crocodiles since we set up those systems. This reduction in riverbank activities can only mean a better ecosystem. Furthermore, access to clean water advances environmental justice which allows the reduction of carbon emissions. By providing clean safe water, we eliminate the need for boiling it, thus offsetting carbon emissions. WARwanda undertakes another project (Water for Climate) supplementing our INUMA project that provides clean water through 41 sources. 56,658 tons of carbon will be offset each year and with INUMA systems and we are able to capitalize on this. WARwanda has reduced the individual expenditure on good water systems in Rwanda. Our prices remain 2-4 times more affordable than any direct competitor in the country and sometimes for superior service. This allows for water scarcity to be eliminated faster with less funding for individual water projects. Today, approximately 2,000 people get water from our INUMA locations by walking to a kiosk every day and our target is to connect 500 in their houses by December 2019.

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Sustainability and future plans

Upscaling the NUMA network could be done on two levels: 1. Rwanda (District Wide Approach) Local teams could be set up within the districts whose sole purpose is to drill holes and set up NUMA networks. This could increase the speed and keep an ongoing flow of creation of water points for Rwandans. The local government has partnered with us in Nyarugenge District and Rusizi District where we have started expanded up to the point where we now have 19 NUMA water networks. By the end of 2019, we aim to establish more of these networks in Rusizi district, where there is an outbreak of cholera. 2. International expansion Water Access Rwanda has established contacts through the projects already done and customer base in East and Central Africa still experiences growth thanks to water4 as a partner. In Burundi, the company saw the creation of a new drilling team and fostered its growth as it completed over 10 boreholes for the province of Cibitoke. In DRC, focus is on the North Kivu province where 6 surveys were done to locate future drilling places, and one borehole was already completed. In Uganda, Water Access Rwanda worked with partners and conducted private surveys in regions close to Rwanda in Ntungamo, but also far from Rwanda in Bundibugyo, Fort Portal area of Uganda. In our financial model, the capital investment sought is repaid back to the initial investors from water sales earnings through four different models: 1. Revenue Share Agreements (only with government given water policy) 2. Profit Share Agreements (with NGOs that commit for a 5-year term or longer with a minimum of 4 Networks done together each year). 3. Debt Investment into the infrastructure 4. Pay-Back over 7-years with accrued profit on system

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Your profile as an entrepreneur

As a young Rwandan activist and social entrepreneur, I hold a Mechanical Engineering degree from Oklahoma Christian University where I did a research on purifying water using ozone and graduated Magna Cum Laude. I work full time to promote youth-led initiatives and help fellow young people achieve their full potential. I have a track record in environmental activism through a Sierra Club Fellowship and advocacy for minimally invasive and sustainable water provision methods. I have also facilitated more than 89 successful boreholes all over Rwanda (drilled manually) and over 300 filters used in Rwandan households to provide safe water without boiling. My end goal for the company I run to so permanently and sustainably eradicate the water crisis. It is tough to imagine how it will ever be over. The water crisis seems like a terrible issue that seems to be getting worse as its new facets emerge even in developed countries. But when it is over, meaning the water crisis Id like to be remembered as someone who took major jabs at it. Quite recently, I won the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year awarded by INCO. In addition to this, I have been awarded the following: Youth SDG Innovator, UN SDSN, New York, 2018 Africa Entrepreneurship Award, Morocco 2017 Most Innovative Female-run business, IFC/KORA, Rwanda 2016 Resolution Fellowship, Miami, 2015 MilLEAD Fellowship, Ghana, 2014 GPEP Fellowship, Sierra Clube, Washington DC, 2014

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May 21, 2019 07:17

This is a great project you have here!one of the most important thing to survive is good water and which you striving to provide for your country.
Kindly click on my link below to also comment on my project.

Zirimwabagabo Romain

May 20, 2019 19:35

This is one of the most important water project that access drinkable water to the people in urban and rural areas, I liked this project especially when I was travelled near Nkombo island of Rwanda where you can see some of drilled water and I was surprised to hear that is the project of warwanda. Good luck!


May 20, 2019 12:58

I do appreciate that we can have this wonderful project! Access to water in Rwanda has progressed during the last 2 decades attaining almost 87.6 % in 2018. However, the issue is reliability. In most areas even in urban areas, water can be accessed twice a week leaving a gap for access to safely managed water. This technology will complete the country's ongoing effort for 100% access to water and sanitation in 2020. Moreover, this the only way to access the remote rural areas. I liked this project so much my rating is excellent (9/10)

May 19, 2019 20:12

Hello Cristelle, your project is really amazing. The inaccessibility to clean water is still a big challenge to both urban and rural communities. Having your company set a full package service provision (water collection, water treatment and distribution), this shows how impactful is your project "INUMA" to the targeted population.
Great project indeed.