Non-profit turns to Indiegogo to help spread clean water and women’s entrepreneurship

–Photo courtesy of Lucy Parker Randall from Smitten & Hooked Photography

Today’s World Water Day, and one Innovation District non-profit is using the opportunity to tap Indiegogo to help expand its water purification efforts while helping launch a network of women entrepreneurs in rural Ghana.

Since 2008, Community Water Solutions has worked with villages around Tamale, Ghana, to set up basic water purification systems.

The systems are simple, inexpensive, and effective, according to co-founder and executive director Kate Clopeck: The consist of large, concrete basins and three large buckets. The water is then treated with chlorine and a coagulant called alum.

Each system is given to women of the village — typically two per system — who then create a business cleaning and selling the water.


Clopeck, an MIT alumna, said that so far, about 49 of these small businesses had been created, with all of them remaining active.

Training, installation, and follow up of the water purification systems is done by classes of CWS fellows as well as four Ghanese staff members.

Now, the non-profit is trying to expand its work both north and south, to Walewale and Salaga in Ghana.

So far, they’ve raised over $10,000 of their $60,000 goal, largely from past participants, Clopeck told me.

Here is the Indiegogo video CWS put together to promote the campaign:

Salamatu's Story: One Woman's Journey to Becoming a CWS Water Entrepreneur from Community Water Solutions on Vimeo.

Donor perks include postcards, water bottles, and, for the truly generous, a handmade blanket.

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