We’re proud to have been a part of SolarSacks journey since its start in 2017, and excited about how the team have progressed from idea to prototype, and to now successfully providing safe drinking water for 25,000 people in a refugee camp in Uganda. Alexander Løcke, the founder of SolarSack brings us up to date with the latest developments.
27 November, 2020
Q: Alexander you just came back from Uganda. Can you tell us a bit about your recent work and experiences from the field?
A: Over the past year, we have been working to do more field testing of our solution, which can turn dirty water into drinkable water within 4 hours by using UV filters and sunlight.
The Kyangwali refugee camp project in Uganda is our most recent infield deployment, with 25.000 SolarSacks given to residents who currently have no access to safe water. About three months later after we distributed them, we see how families in camp have begun using them. Our first round monitoring showed a 99% adoption rate and over 90% correct usage. From day one, we saw SolarSacks being used in multiple households, some hanging and ready for the family to drink, or placed under the sun.
I was happy to hear from the management of the camp, the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Aid Agency OXFAM, and the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in Uganda, who have formally requested if SolarSack could continue the project and the sacks be distributed to the rest of the camp.
Alexander Løcke, SolarSack CTO & Founder getting help with water testing
Q: You’ve been part of HelloScience through 4 phases of development – from idea to concept, from prototype, to pilot scaling. Looking back, how has HelloScience helped you progress so far – and how do you see HelloScience helping you reach the next step?
A: Working with HelloScience in an open collaboration with Novozymes gave us the trust that we needed to launch a new product and an innovative technology. We have now proven that our product works with up to 99% user adoption rates. We can make a tremendous impact on our mission to “bring access to clean and safe drinking water to low-income communities”. HelloScience has given us access to a Community of ideas, technical experts and initial funding that has been invaluable. We are now looking for partners and collaborators, through your network, to help us scale and join our mission and help us reach the 2.2 billion people worldwide without access to clean and safe drinking water.
Q: When we first met SolarSack, you were only two. Now you’re more than 12 people – How does it feel to grow and to scale up?
A: It has been quite a journey yet an organic one. It seems that we have found the perfect people just when we needed them. But I do see our SolarSack family as much bigger than just 12. We are a global team of local partners throughout East Africa, a great network of researchers, manufacturers, and NGOs that are working tirelessly towards our mission to create a measurable impact in the world. I am very proud to be a part of it.