November 11, 2014
Today we began to pilot safe water storage production at Haiti Communitere. Since week one we’ve been producing safe water storage buckets (pictured above) on a rolling basis depending on requests by each community we serve. Today marks the beginning of a more formalized production process that will allow us to produce a stock that can adequately supply the demand of our existing sites and expansion in 2015.
Safe water storage is a critical component to the effectiveness of chlorine as a household water treatment solution because it ensures that the water does not become contaminated after treatment. However, for the first few months of establishing Kouzin Dlo we have focused more on creating chlorine customers since buckets are a larger financial investment. We are now putting more of a focus on producing and selling the buckets now that we identified a demand for buckets of this kind in both household and schools.
Step 1 – SOURCING
What goes into a Kouzin Dlo safe water storage bucket?
Over the past couple of weeks I have worked with a Haitian intern, Hudson, to source the various materials needed to product our safe water storage buckets. During the summer we had already identified a bulk supplier for taps and PVC, so our intern mostly focused on securing buckets and labels. He has diligently followed leads to find a consistent supply of recycled buckets at depot boutiques around Haiti Communitere and Cite Soleil. Next, he researched and selected a printer to produce waterproof labels for the buckets. The labels are one of the most critical items for our buckets to be seen as in order.
Step 2 – PILOT PRODUCTION
Starting today our intern will pilot producing the buckets from start to finish at Haiti Communitere. At this point he will be producing the buckets fully and then we will deliver them to the depot in Bwa Nef for distribution to the three sites. However, in the future we plan to just wash the buckets and drill the tap hole at Haiti Communitere and allow for the taps to be installed in the community based upon demand.
Piloting is a critical phase for us to experientially determine all of the inputs and then establish standardized methods for production. Through the pilot we will be able to answer questions such as, should we use a brush, knife or solution to remove existing labels? How much plumbers tape is needed to secure each tap? Through the pilot production we will also determine the production wage per bucket based on the time it takes to make a bucket and the amount of buckets someone could produce in one full day of work. This will allow us to ensure that our bucket producer is making a fair wage for their effort.
Step 3 – LAUNCH
By December we intend to have bucket production fully up and running. In the long-run we plan to employ someone 1 to 2 days per week to source materials and produce the buckets at Haiti Communtiere. This is just one more avenue for us to support the local economy and create jobs for Haitians. We’re excited to be able to provide this simple yet important product to our customers and the communities that we serve.