Unsafe drinking water is a global issue affecting 1 billion people in the developing world. Waterborne illnesses kill more children than malaria, AIDS, and measles combined. They also keep children from attending school and keep mothers at home instead of pursuing extra income sources. In CeraMaji’s home country of Kenya, 48% of people experience water insecurity.
Water insecurity happens in areas with the most vulnerable populations, such as in Sub-Saharan urban slums and remote-rural areas. They lack water infrastructure or have systems that are overburdened by staggering population density, which is exacerbated by rapid urbanization. To make matters worse, these communities pay a poverty tax for their essential water, often 10 times more per liter of water compared to affluent urban areas.
Current water purification methods are not solving the problem. Boiling water is effective against waterborne illnesses, but fuel is not only cost-prohibitive, but a dangerous cause of air pollution, respiratory illness, and house fires. Chlorination is safe, but alteration to the taste of water understandably discourages its use. Large-scale filtration systems produce clean water however they have complex delivery systems that don’t account for human factors that recontaminate water after the point of purification.
CeraMaji filters have been sold in Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Cambodia.
CeraMaji Ltd is a social enterprise that produces an inexpensive and effective point-of-use ceramic water filter that is locally made and easy to use. We use local materials such as clay that our customers know and augment it to achieve 99.9% reduction in common water pathogens.
In addition to our clean water solution, we aim to achieve an innovative and socially-driven business model that employs and empowers entrepreneurs in target markets to participate in a gain-sharing franchise system. Our goal is to have 50% of sales from community entrepreneurs by 2025.
Our venture addresses two major issues in East African urban slums and rural communities - lack of consistent access to potable water and extreme poverty and inequities experienced by these communities.
CeraMaji Water Filter
Antimicrobial - Microporated clay and colloidal silver produce a 99.9% reduction in common pathogens like Cholera and Giardia, preventing diarrheal illness that is deadly for children.
Cost Effectiveness - CeraMaji filters are built from low-cost clay and plastic while also substantially reducing energy expenditure and water-fetching opportunity cost for customers.
Field-Tested - Tested at both the University of Alberta and Brown University, as well as independently by the Kenyan Bureau of Standards with river water from the Rift Valley Region, which found 100% antimicrobial load reduction and subsequent national approval and certification as a health product in Kenya.
No Boiling Necessary - Clean water is available faster and without the cost of procuring fuel sources that produce airborne particulate matter causing chronic respiratory illnesses and environmental pollution.
Point-of-Use - Water is dispensed through a spigot, preventing post-filtration contamination by scooping water from the receptable with one’s hands or another container prior to consumption.
Consumer Education - Each filter contains instructions on how to use and replace the filter as well as health promotion information on hand hygiene, sanitation practices, and waterborne illness transmission.