Distribution is one of the most substantial barriers to the uptake of inexpensive, yet life-saving, products. Community Chlorinators (CC) takes advantage of social networks to overcome this barrier to distribute chlorine to households in high density urban and semi-urban communities. People living in these communities have income but do not have access to reliable, affordable, clean water. In each community, Community Chlorinators establishes a hub from which a network of independent entrepreneurs sell chlorine, treat water at the household level, educate households on water treatment and test water in their community. These entrepreneurs are recruited with the assistance of well established community-based organizations, schools and churches. They are trained in basic health and hygiene, as well as in water treatment and basic water testing. Once they have become agents, they purchase chlorine from CC project headquarters. We will source the chlorine from Archimedes Project partner Deep Springs International. They produce a stabilized chlorine solution that has a proven track record in Haiti and is used in a variety of household water treatment and storage programs and distribution models.
CC’s will identify households in their communities to recruit as potential customers. They will visit these households three to five times over two weeks to teach them how to treat their water supply. The goal is for each household to become self-sufficient in appropriate household water treatment and storage. The CC’s will then transition to monthly visits to test water for chlorine levels, provide bottles of chlorine and other small healthcare products for sale and answer any follow up questions.
In addition to being paid by the households to provide this service, CC’s can also generate income by recruiting new CC’s. The CC would receive a percentage of the revenue from chlorine purchased by that referred new agent.
This plan has three main benefits to the community:
Ensures a consistent supply of household water treatment and storage products to provide safe water for households. Chlorine treatment is a proven and cost-effective method of water treatment that falls within the purchasing power of most Haitians.
Creates employment opportunities and offers professional development to the CC’s. This plan is able to expand according to demand in that customers can also become agents and can continue to expand to neighboring areas.
Provides a conduit for the delivery of other low-cost healthcare products such as oral rehydration salts.
Because the business is focused on building a network of entrepreneurs who provide products and services to their personal network of friends and family, we are looking for a name that evokes familiarity yet provides information on what service they offer. We are considering: Kouzin Dlo. ‘Kouzin’ is the Haitian Creole word for female cousin and ‘dlo’ is the word for water.
The initial launch of “Community Chlorinator” will take place from July to September.
In most households, women are primarily responsible for collection and purification of water and may be more receptive to the advice of other women. They are also often overlooked in job training and work opportunities. We are considering focusing on recruiting female agents.
We are looking for communities with the following characteristics:
Located in a high density urban or semi-urban area
Need for affordable and reliable clean water in the community
Strong and engrained community-based organization to help identify and possibly train entrepreneurs
We are exploring a collaboration with Team Tassy, an organization focused on healthcare and job training and doing amazing work focused on healthcare and job training in the town of Menelas. We are also exploring partnerships in the Northwest, in the city of Port-de-Paix in particular. This area has a low coverage for household water treatment and storage programs, representing a largely untapped market for chlorine and other household water treatment interventions. This would be a prime region for expansion - our partner Deep Springs International has a chlorine production site in Jolivert, 1.5 hrs south of the city of Port-de-Paix.
Our goal is to reach the entire country. We are therefore considering add-on products that may be necessary to have a flexible and nimble project design to meet each community’s unique needs.
Integration of water supply - In densely populated or arid areas with limited water resources, we are exploring whether a module can be added to “Community Chlorinators” to include water distribution as needed. Rainwater collection technologies could be used to develop a supply of water and CC’s could act as a water source as well as a distributor for chlorine. To examine the feasibility of this integration, we are in communication with two technology partners with rainwater collection technology that have been successfully used in Haiti- Rain Catchers, LLC and Enterprise Works, a division of Relief International. We are also open to considering other options.
Subsidies for very low-income populations - To provide additional support to those unable to afford the standard program, we are considering an expressed or built-in BOGO (buy-one-give-one) model.
Collaboration with medical facilities to target high risk populations- In addition to the community-based model, we are exploring the use of CC’s as an add-on disease prevention program for high risk populations. Disease prevention is a component often missing from treatment centers due to insufficient resources. Collaboration with Cholera Treatment Centers and Malnutrition Clinics would allow us to directly target these high-risk populations and help reduce re-admittance for diarrheal and waterborne diseases. This model could provide a self-sustaining prevention program to these medical facilities. Considering the fact that Haitians often access healthcare far from their home, we are exploring if the “Community Chlorinators” project would be an applicable model given the large geographic area of potential clients.