The Trafigura Foundation has been supporting the programme in Bangladesh, since 2010. The purpose of this programme is to supply reasonably-priced running water in slums under a social business model.
In the urban slums of developing countries, access to clean and safe drinking water is a major issue. Water can be purchased, although at a very high price and of impure quality, often to the point of causing chronic diseases. Eau & Vie, French for ‘water and life’, relies on social entrepreneurship as a way to create solutions to this issue that involves the local community and promotes income generation.
The local population is encouraged to take part in the development of small companies that create and manage fresh water supply networks. These small social concessions provide good quality water to the community at a reasonable cost. Other aspects of this social entrepreneurship scheme include:
- Distribution of drinking water at home for one-third of the price with collection based on the principles of micro-credit
- Hygiene and environment awareness trainings
- Installation of sanitary complexes
- Fire-fighting system managed by trained members of the community
In Bangladesh, the Foundation supports the Bhashantek neighbourhood in the capital Dhaka, where about 3,500 families live. The construction of the water supply network there was completed in 2012.