Hi, we are Helioz, an Austrian social enterprise start-up that provides affordable and efficient tools to low-income households, humanitarian organizations and emergency aid organizations around the globe. We are a dedicated team of medical doctors, economists, scientific researchers and project coordinators with partners around the globe to bring safe water to people living at the bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) throughout the world.
We've developed an inexpensive device to guarantee safe drinking water using only solar power. It’s called WADI!
We have already tested this device in the field in India and Africa and one of our project partners there, Austria's largest health-care NPO the Arbeiter Samariter Bund, has concluded that:
With your help, we can conduct a comprehensive Health Impact Study in India to provide large-scale evidence of WADI's effectiveness in reducing waterborne diseases. The study will allow us to better understand and respond to specific needs of those affected by waterborne diseases and the NPO/NGO organisations that serve them. This knowledge will enable us to foster the necessary partnerships for bridging the last mile and allow us to innovate micro-entrepreunrial business models that integrate locals into the value chain and further reduce the impact of poverty.
WADI has been featured in the international press, won 19 awards and has been invited to several international events.
WADI (water disinfection) is a sustainable and cost-efficient tool that helps track the progress of solar water disinfection in a PET-bottle filled with non-potable water.
WADI doesn’t require boiling, chlorine tablets or batteries - it uses solar power and is based on the SODIS method. WADI detects and calculates the relevant UV-rays of the sun that purify the water, and lets the user know as soon as the water is safe to drink.
With the funds we raise on Indiegogo we will conduct a scientific health impact study (HIS) in the Indian state of Odisha. Odisha has the third highest under-5 mortality rate in all of India, leading to around 80 child deaths per 1,000 births. This study will be the scientific prerequisite for mass adoption of WADI in India and will enable us to better understand and respond to the specific needs of those affected by waterborne diseases and the NPO/NGO organisations that serve them.
Equipped with this knowledge, we can start to build the distribution network to get safe water to the people in a country where 1,100 children under the age of 5 die every day as a result of waterborne diseases. The economic burden of diarrhea, currently standing at $25 billion for India alone, could be reduced significantly and these funds could be used to tackle more challenging aspects of poverty and disease control.
Even though we know that the WADI is an amazing solution to tackle waterborne disease at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid, we also know that we will need some dedicated expert help to get it there. Our partners include the Public Health Department of the Medical University of Vienna, where a PhD thesis will be written on the results of the study. Furthermore, the Vienna-based nonprofit NGO GEZA and the Indian social business Samvab will help us during the implementation of the study. Another important partner is the Maharaja Krishna Chandra Gajapati Medical College & Hospital in Odisha. We have even convinced a renowned development agency to assist us in our efforts to bring safe water to the people who need it most.
What’s the problem with drinking water?
There are almost 1 billion people in the world without access to safe drinking water. Bacterial and viral contaminations of drinking water cause waterborne illnesses like diarrhea, which kills more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Each day, there are 4,000 children under the age of 5 that die from unsafe drinking water. Naturally, the people affected belong to the world’s poorest and cannot afford expensive water purifiers or filters.
For that reason, some of the people without access to safe drinking water rely on boiling the water to make sure it is safe to drink. The collection of wood, however, is a cumbersome and particularly time-consuming effort, resulting in income losses for women and men alike. The use of kerosene, on the other side, harms the environment and is a costly alternative to using fire wood. Either way, millions of domestic fireplaces daily cause huge CO2 emissions, leading to additional health problems of the people affected and to a degradation of the global environment.
Chlorine tablets are presently the only other viable alternative to the boiling of water and receive wide-spread support of NGOs. Chlorine tablets, however, are often inaccessible for the world’s poor. What adds to this is the unpleasant taste that chlorine leaves in the water!
How does WADI work?
WADI contains a UV sensor that measures the sun’s UV radiation and then compares the measurements with scientifically proven reduction of pathogens in the water. The synergetic processes of UV-induced inactivation (dose- and time-dependent) are integrated with opposing processes stemming from the repair mechanisms of the pathogens. Even during difficult weather conditions (e.g. low light conditions, clouds and/or rain), WADI reliably indicates an optimized exposure time for the necessary reduction of the pathogens. By means of a happy smiley face, WADI lets its user know as soon as the water has reached a bacterially and virally safe drinking water status (4 log-levels/99.99%).
How do I use WADI?
- Will one WADI really cost 35 Euros for low-income households?
No, of course not. This price has been set for the specific purpose of helping to finance the goals of this campaign. The WADI will be sold at different price points depending on the specific market environment and customer segment. Our main goal however, is to make the WADI not only affordable, but to make it the cheapest viable solution for those affected by waterborne diseases, in low-income regions around the world. We are confident from the results of our market research that we can reach this goal.
- How long does it take for the water to become disinfected?
The amount of time needed will depend on a number of parameters. Above all, it is the intensity of the sun and its UV-rays that determine the duration of the process. These, in turn, depend to a large extent on the existing weather conditions (clear, cloudy, rain), the sea level (the higher, the faster) and the degree of latitude (the closer to the equator, the faster). Our field tests in various regions and weather conditions around Asia and Africa have shown test results between 45 minutes and several hours.
- Which kind of bottles can be used with WADI?
WADI can be used with PET-bottles only. Bottles must be in horizontal position when using solar water disinfection. PET-bottles must be transparent, cleaned and unscratched when used for solar water desinfection.
- Is it dangerous to one's health to leave PET-bottles in the sun?
No, scientific studies have confirmed repeatedly that when solar water disinfection is applied correctly, there is no danger to human health and that the potential benefits of protecting people from waterborne diseases by far outweigh the potential risks. For more detailed information on this matter please visit the web site on SODIS by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Sciences.
HIS - HEALTH IMPACT STUDY:
- Proof that use of WADI can reduce waterborne diseases by at least 50%
- Understanding the specific needs of those affected by waterborne diseases and the NPOs and NGOs that serve them
- Selection of appropriate study location within the Ganjam district in Odisha, India.
- Training and development of health advisors.
- Dissemination of WADIs.
- Execution of study.
- Selection of study location according to incidence of waterborne diseases, appropriate degree of availability of improved sources of water and proximity to required laboratories. Microbiological tests of water.
- Training and development of health advisors and opinion leaders, who will ensure correct usage of WADI and conduct microbiological tests with support of medicals doctors.
- Selection of study participants: minimum quantity of at least 900 children under the age of 5 (300 will receive WADI; 300 will constitute control group 1, applying SODIS without WADI; 300 will constitute control group 2, applying previously used methods of water disinfection). The more funds we receive, the bigger and the more representative the study we can conduct.
- Medical checks and support of participants and dissemination of pre-study questionnaires.
- Distribution of training material (comics, stickers, pictograms, etc.) and training on the use of WADI.
- Dissemination of WADIs.
- Daily field visits of medical doctors and health advisors; continuous questionnaires and medical checks.
- Finalization of study and analysis of outcome (analysis of medical results, questionnaires and general feedback of all participants). Scientific preparation of final results.
- Publication of results in relevant local and international journals and writing of PhD dissertation on the study (by Julia Macura, MD).
- Establishment of distribution network in India (building large-scale distribution network through cooperation with local distribution partners, NGOs, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.). Establishment of local micro-entrepreneurship (selling WADIs, selling safe drinking water as verified by WADI in kiosks, etc.).
- Strengthening women's role within the WADI network and involve them as entrepreneurs, multipliers, implementers and product trainers.
- Nomination and participation of Helioz and WADI at World Congress on Public Health in Kolkata in February 2015.
Any companies aiming at doing something for their corporate social responsibility (CSR) may support our campaign and have WADIs branded with their company logo and/or slogan!
Any private persons, support us and receive one of our other exciting rewards! Be among the first to either send or receive a WADI!
Give a WADI:
Sending a WADI to a family in India will not only help to improve their health and safety, but also reduce direct costs for treatments and indirect costs associated with a loss of earnings. Scientific research has shown that in India these costs can easily amount to the total household income of an entire month. By sending a WADI you are therefore also making a significant contributing to the reduction of poverty!
Get a WADI:
The WADI is an amazing tool for those who enjoy travelling and hiking in remote areas, with limited access to water and sanitation facilities. Diarrhea is one of the most frequently contracted diseases in these environments and the WADI can offer easy access to safe water, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact of boiling water, or buying bottled water.
Highlights also include a WADI T-Shirt and a WADI-branded glass bottle from the Austrian start-up business Soulbottles. On top of that, all our supporters will receive access to our private blog on the Health Impact Study.
1. You DO NOT need a paypal account to support our campaign. A debit or credit card is sufficient. It may happen that for contributions higher than the equivalent of USD 400, a paypal account becomes necessary.
2. We can only conduct the study if we reach our goal of at least EUR 100,000. In case we fall short of this goal, we will use the money for humanitarian causes (i.e., provide as many people as possible with WADI in India).
3. Any trips to India will only take place if we reach our goal of at least EUR 100,000, and may only take place between June - October 2013. If we fall short of this goal, anyone who donated EUR 10,000 or more to visit us in India will be contacted to reach a joint conclusion.
4. Each person visiting us in India (anyone who donated EUR 10,000 or more) will be provided with an economy class return ticket to Odisha as well as with suitable accommodation, transportation and meals for two weeks.
MEET THE TEAM.
SOURCES.UNICEF/WHO 2012: Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation 2012
WHO/Unicef 2009, Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
UNESCO/UN Water 2009, The third edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR3): Water in a Changing World
UNESCO/UN Water 2010: The fourth edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR4): Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk
TERI 2010: Looking Back to Change Track
MALIK ET Al. 2012: Water-Borne Diseases and the Cost of Illness
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.