SkyJuice has been working with Siemens-Stiftung for over ten years. It’s a partnership that has delivered a lot of value to the lives of people around the world. Projects in Africa and Latin America have seen leading edge application of disruptive technology solutions to improve the lives in developing countries. Mutual collaboration over this period has resulted in some very innovative solutions to deliver water services.
We thought we should tell you about it.
In fact, Siemens Stiftung is a global leader in the promotion and “open source“ technology solutions through their innovative challenge. There are plenty of examples of new and exciting solutions to decentralised water and power services. Of course our passion is delivering affordable safe water. Partnering with like-minded organisations inevitably leads to enhanced outcomes.
The beginning of the SkyHydrant
When we were developing our first filtration units, we envisaged a world best technology solution that would perform well in a low-tech environment. It had to run without electricity, and minimal infrastructure. The ultrafiltration membranes produced by Memcor (a Siemens AG subsidiary) were an intriguing possibility. If only it was possible to harness these plastic tubes to filter water using only gravity! This was the spark for an idea that led to the development of the SkyHydrant in 2003.
Back in 2007, Siemens AG were celebrating their 150th birthday with a competition for partner organisations. They wanted to see (and reward) the most innovative global technological solutions that used their products to benefit others. SkyJuice submitted an entry and made the shortlist of 12 nominees in Berlin. To our amazement on presentation night, SkyJuice Foundation took out the top award and 50,000 euros in prize money.
This was the seed to allow SkyJuice to further invest to improved designs and tooling. It was also an important step forward in a positive relationship, where Siemens Stiftung have backed many water projects, using this sustainable, chemical free technology.
The working partnership
There have been numerous disaster-relief partnerships between the two organisations. When Bangladesh needed help in 2007, and Pakistan in 2009, Siemens-Stiftung had SkyHydrant units available and our installation expertise. There are many more examples. Since 2009, our partnership has been able to help out in a number of other disaster relief efforts, in Eritrea, south-east Asia and Chile.
The creation of Safe Water Kiosks
From Siemens-Stiftung came the idea that while disaster relief was a great start, empowering people to maintain small businesses provides longer-term assistance and stability. Together, we created the Safe Water Kiosk concept. These have the double benefit of filling a need for safe drinking water and importantly, supporting the local economy.
The Safe Water Kiosks have improved over the years! The first, in Kenya, was made from cement blocks. The kiosks don’t just provide clean drinking water these days: they reinforce the clean water hygiene cycle by providing clean water containers, container disinfection services as well as education about safe water hygiene practices.
Our partnership with Siemens-Stiftung has led to over 20 safe drinking water kiosks and safe water SkyHydrant units being installed all over the world. In Columbia alone, over 600 SkyHydrants have been installed in schools.