Empowering women and securing the future through water conservation
IziWasha was born from a deep understanding of the numerous challenges faced by the bottom of the economic pyramid constituents across Sub-Saharan Africa. In South Africa this constitutes almost 9 million households. Women in these communities spend hours every week washing their families’ clothes by hand. These households are concentrated in low to mid-income communities in emerging markets.
Hand washing not only takes up valuable time and energy, but also causes physical pains and uses large volumes of water at a time while in some cases this is done under a running tap or by a river which has long term ecological impact on the local environment. Our programme mission through IziWasha is to improve the lives of these women and promote water conservation by providing a simple, affordable and sustainable manual washing device designed to make washing simple and saves water during washing.
IziWasha is an award winning, low-cost, manual washing device which has been endorsed by the United Nations. It is easy to use and environmentally friendly. Engineer designed, the product delivers efficiency similar to an automatic washing machine. Iziwasha mimics the action of an electric machine. When a user, standing upright, pumps the product up and down in a bucket of water, it forces the water in the bucket through specially positioned holes in the product cleaning the clothes in half the time of handwashing.
Our research shows that the time women save from hand washing is effectively applied in other areas of their lives. This time is used to generate income, participate in community upliftment initiatives, starting a small business, joining a local co-op or planting a vegetable garden. We also found that the women who participated in our research also allocated this additional time to their children, reading, learning and studying.
Social and Environmental Impact: People Planet Profit
Based on our targeted use of 4 million women with an average of 25% + water saving compared to traditional handwash this programme can save upward of 4.6 million kilolitres of water worth $6.9 million. IziWasha contributes to a 50% time saving from traditional handwash, this equates to 370 million hours saved worth $520 million. This is calculated based on a minimum wage per hour of US$1.40