June 22, 2013

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to Support Safe Water Network's Ghana Field Expansion



Safe Water Network is pleased to announce the continuing support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation with a three-year grant to support field expansions in Ghana that will provide access to safe water for an additional 84,000 people. 

The $1.5 million grant builds upon our field initiatives began in 2008, which proved the viability of a locally owned and managed approach in 33 communities in Ghana and India, providing safe, affordable access to over 200,000 people (nearly 50,000 people in Ghana). The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation grant will help us with our next phase of expansion, pilot-to-scale. 

Our approach focuses on applying private sector models to water supply. We engage with communities from day one to ensure a willingness to ultimately own and manage the water systems. We closely monitor water quality, quantity, revenue, and our customer base to ensure that the operation is running efficiently and that there is sufficient revenue to cover operating costs. 

Safe Water Network's pilot-to-scale expansion program has three key components. The first implements clusters of systems that take advantage of economies of scale. The second focuses on capacity building and testing technologies. The third addresses our goal of catalyzing the sector to replicate successful approaches at scale. 

"We recognized that we need to invest in new approaches that have the potential for more sustainable impact," says" Ed Cain, vice president of grants, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. "We funded a study for Safe Water Network to evaluate the potential for commercial approaches to safe water provision in Ghana and were struck by the organization's innovative thinking. This new grant is focused on how our partnership can scale up a market-based approach." 

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation's support of this new phase will draw upon our recent collaboration, the Ghana Market Assessment, which was released earlier this year. This is the country's first comprehensive survey and analysis for the potential of market-based approaches to provide safe, affordable water to the 11 million Ghanaians still in need. Findings from this assessment were presented at our 'Beyond the Pipe' forum in March 2013 attended by over 150 of Ghana's key water-sector stakeholders, and will also inform the basis for this next phase of work. In addition to the field work funded by the foundation, their renewed support also helps Safe Water Network disseminate findings from our field work, assessments, and operational research, including the recently launched Field Insight series

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation's support is part of a broader collaboration with other funders of our Ghana operations including Newman's Own Foundation and Kosmos Energy

To learn more about Safe Water Network's Ghana Expansion and our partnership with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation contact: Nat Paynter, NPaynter@safewaternetwork.org