Today we celebrate the achievements of women all around the world. Women and children in most African societies bear the responsibility of collecting water for the household. In this edition, we focus on the experiences that a few women in Mpigi district, central Uganda have had in using Solvatten to provide clean safe water for their families.

Solvatten is a Swedish invention that has provided the rural poor in Africa access to clean safe water. Using UV rays from the sun, pasteurization and filtration, this device makes water safe for consumption at household level. The rise in infectious diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery has been attributed to peoples' lack of access to clean safe water. In 1998, Uganda recorded one of the highest outbreaks of cholera that resulted into the death of over 1,500 people throughout the country. ECOTRUST in partnership with MyClimate and ZeroMission has successfully distributed over 1000 units since 2012 to rural poor households, farmers and businesses across the country making access to clean safe water possible.
B etty, a solvatten user from Mpigi district has been using the device for just over 4 months. She uses it for mainly heating water for drinking, making tea and for bathing on the not so hot days. Solvatten has saved her the expense of buying firewood for boiling water. She says that firewood is very expensive during the rainy season where only three pieces are sold for Ugx 1000 which isn't even enough to boil 10 litres of water.
She says that the water she gets from the Solvatten unit is enough for her needs. Normally, she harvests rain water from her roof and occasionally from the tap. Some of her friends witnessed just how much her life had been made easier by using the device and decided to purchase a few for themselves.

John Sseyonjo and wife
ohn is a farmer with the Mpigi farmers Assosiation (MPIFA) and also a user of Solvatten. On a sunny day, he will use the device atleast three times and only once on a cool day. He mainly uses the device to provide safe drinking for his wife and two children. His wife collects the water from a nearby spring well and stores in a clean jerrycan inside their house. Typically, the water lasts John and his family between 6 to 10 days. His wife also uses the water for making tea and for bathing the baby.
He says that Solvatten has also saved her from the burden of having to look for firewood or kerosene to boil water for drinking. John is not bothered by the heavy rains because he knows that the sun will always come out just enough to heat up water for bathing.

D eborah is an upcoming model farmer under the Mpigi Farmers Association (MPIFA) and a solvatten user. She places her device outside first thing in the morning before going to the garden, and after stores the water in a clean jerry can
inside her house. She also uses the water for making tea, porridge and cooking food. She says that her husband likes to bathe with warm/hot water so she always makes sure to keep some for him at the end of the day. She says that the solvatten water has also helped her in brewing pot wine which is an alternative livelihood option  for her and her family.

She likes the taste of the water and doesn't have any problems using the device. When asked why she uses solvatten inspite of other options like her wood saving stove and bio gas, she explained that the others are used to prepare food and sauce but solvatten has played a big role in making her cooking faster and easier. 

 is part of a Village Health team in Mpigi district and has mainly used Solvatten to provide safe water to administer first aid and medicine to her patients. It has also shortened the time she takes cooking food and enabled her save on the amount of firewood she uses. She uses it once or twice in a week. When she's away, her mother keeps watch over the device. It's only when she travels over long journeys that she will leave it in the house as her mother is old and may not be able to provide keen security.

Solvatten user experiences

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