Clean Water and Sanitation Profile
Partnering for a Clean Energy Solution
As part of a broad Clean Water and Sanitation strategy, East Meets West knows the importance of supporting entrepreneurs who operate community-level water systems in underserved areas. Last year, EMW provided support to several dozen local entrepreneurs--whose water systems provide clean, affordable, piped water to rural households in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta—to enable them to upgrade their systems.
Like many of these entrepreneurs, Mr. Tran Van Luom is eager to further improve and expand his Hoang Thai Water Supply system, which currently provides clean water to 1,200 households in a rural community. He knows that if he invests in cost-efficient clean energy solutions, he can put the savings toward expanding the system so more households can access clean piped water.
But access to funding has been a major constraint for individual clean water entrepreneurs looking to upgrade their systems. With support from Danida (the development arm of the Danish government), Mr. Tran recently installed two sets of solar panels to power his pumps, reducing electricity bills by 30%.
To install three additional sets of solar panels to power three more pumps (further reducing his electricity bills by an additional 30 to 40%), Mr. Tran needs additional financing. Because local banks are hesitant to provide loans, EMW is working with microlending site KIVA to help Mr. Tran and other water system owners secure affordable financing.
Powering the water system with renewable energy is a win for everyone: Mr. Tran uses the savings to expand his enterprise, more rural households get access to clean water, and the load on the local power supply system is reduced, making it more reliable and sustainable.