WATER Nigeria

Sunlight Water Centres are working to provide access to clean, affordable and accessible water

Sunlight Water Centres are working in communities across Nigeria to provide access to clean, affordable and accessible household water. A Sunlight Water Centre integrates a motorised solar-powered bore hole which pumps clean water with a kiosk selling consumer goods and services, with the purpose of creating sustainable water access.

Each Sunlight Water Centres is run by a female woman entrepreneur who owns and runs the retail centre that produces, stores and sells clean water alongside other everyday products, such as food and toiletries. The centres also provide services like mobile phone charging and mobile banking, and entrepreneurs often become ambassadors for behaviour change in their communities. 

The retail model helps to cross-subsidise water that is sold at affordable rates and creates a profitable business venture. As a result, the women owner-operators and their community equity partners have a real incentive to maintain the boreholes long into the future.

Ten Sunlight Water Centres across ten distinct peri-urban locations in Nigeria were operational in 2016 and the project has ambitions to scale to 1,000 centres across Nigeria over the next 10 years. TRANSFORM committed £300,000 over one year to carry out a comprehensive technical assistance programme to refine a viable commercial proposition to take the Sunlight Water Centre model to scale.

Sunlight Water Centre has already benefited over 11,000 beneficiaries. In addition to promoting better health through safer water, this creates a positive economic ripple effect. By spending less time and money to collect water, women in the village can pursue other economic opportunities.

Barbara Ryl, the Sunlight Water Centre Team Leader, said, “TRANSFORM has been instrumental in driving and strengthening the Sunlight Water Centres in Nigeria in 2016, bringing clean and affordable water to water-scarce villages.

With help of Technoserve, as well as expertise and funds coming from TRANSFORM, we managed to further scale up the initiative in Nigeria, and throughout 2016 the operating model has been refined to minimize CAPEX and maximize financial and social impact. The Centres have been also closely monitored so that we have collected a vast set of valuable data that help us understand what really works and what doesn’t.

It is great to see people who understood social problems collaborate and help each other. Thanks to TRANSFORM the Sunlight Water Centre project team came up with really high-calibre and tangible on-the-ground activities which bring us closer to solving yet another problem while truly changing the lives of individuals.”