MADISON, Wisconsin — In September of 2011 a team from Wello Water set out to solve one of the greatest dilemmas of the developing world: water collection.
780 million people don’t have access to clean water, or have to walk hours carrying damaging amounts of water on their heads and backs. Women in particular do most of the water collecting in the countries where it’s most scarce, and the lack of sanitation means that every 21 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease.
Wello Water is social venture that wanted a way for people (particularly women) to transport water effectively, hygienically and affordably. By doing so the goal was to allow time for school and more efficient family care. Wello believes that “[w]omen with even a few years of education have smaller, healthier families, and are more likely to send their children to school. Female education is a key means of breaking the cycle of poverty.”
So a team arrived in India and began their research by interviewing experts, local community members and building prototypes. In little over a year they had created the WaterWheel. The device can be managed easily by a child, or even one-handed. It carries up to 50 liters of water while traditional methods never allowed for more than 16 liters to be transported at once. More water means fewer trips, and more time to spend with children, school work or employment.
Durable and easy to manage, the WaterWheel’s design prevents recontamination of water after filtration, greatly reducing susceptibility to diarrheal disease. Manufactured in Ahmedabad, India, Wello’s business model focuses around corporate social responsibility (CSR), keeping the price of the WaterWheel affordable for the poor who need it most.
Wello Water recognizes that ending global poverty requires a series of small steps that tread on key issues; water, hygiene and education. The WaterWheel is an example of advancement through peaceful collaboration: By making clean water more accessible to the poor, fewer children will die, and more will be in school. That’s called success.