Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences

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ESS majors partner with water purification enterprise in Uganda

Last summer, Andrew Pascale ’16 and I worked with a company named Jibu, a water purification social enterprise based out of Kampala, Uganda. As Global Social Benefit Fellows, we prepared for the experience through a spring quarter course offered by the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at SCU, and were able to hit the ground running with knowledge of Uganda’s political and cultural history, Jibu’s business model and how we could make an impact.


Andrew Pascale (left) and Tom Wheeler (right) at a Jibu water filtration location

Jibu’s innovative business model employs a decentralized franchise structure to empower local African entrepreneurs to own and operate their own water purification enterprises. Each franchise location connects to the polluted local tap infrastructure, filters the water on-site using Ultra-Filtration technology, and sells the purified water in reusable bottles for an affordable price. This reliable alternative to boiling provides to clean, affordable water to the middle class while creating employment opportunities for locals. As we worked with Jibu to develop a Marketing & Sales Training Manual and Program, Andrew and I found that educating community members about the filtration processing as well as the aggregated costs of boiling (charcoal, medical bills associated with damages from indoor air pollution/water-borne illness, and the opportunity cost of boiling) are critical.

Jibu Ultrafiltration Machine (each franchise has their own)