Jibu: Access to Clean Water - Pillar 1

Water Unite’s first pillar, Access To Clean Water, is a powerful driver in our mission and our work. We believe in supporting initiatives that not only provide critical resources but also empower communities to achieve meaningful change through sustainable and scalable models.

Water Unite has partnered with Jibu to make significant strides in water security and accessibility. Last November, Galen Welsch, founder and CEO of Jibu, spoke at our Pilot to Scale Up webinar; "Everyone needs access to drinking water, and Jibu’s goal is to reach everyone”

Jibu is leading efforts to improve water security and accessibility through an innovative franchise model. This model enables local entrepreneurs to establish filtered, clean water kiosks in their communities, providing both a valuable resource and economic opportunities. Jibu's approach addresses the multifaceted challenges of water scarcity, pollution, and the difficulties that low-income communities face when obtaining drinking water. According to Galen, "Jibu's solution addresses the limited access to necessities and the entrepreneurial opportunity gap through utility franchises."

Jibu's franchise system combines financing with a business model that places entrepreneurs at the heart of their own local communities ensuring that solutions are tailored to their unique needs. Galen explained; "Entrepreneurs are embedded in their neighbourhoods and communities with our customised franchise system is designed for emerging markets”.

Galen went on to describe how Jibu ensures the sustainability of their operations by providing a constant supply of clean water to the surrounding areas. "We are a drinking water company utilising a circular economy model to supply the neighbourhoods around us,"

Jibu's network is extensive, with around 168 franchises operating across Kenya, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Burundi, Zambia, Tanzania, and Uganda. These franchises are strategically placed, with over 8,500 retail points positioned at approximately 200-metre intervals. Each of the 192 water-purifying franchises sells clean water at an affordable rate of 7.4 cents per litre, making it accessible to even the most vulnerable populations.

Beyond water, Jibu’s retail points also offer products such as porridge and LPG, leveraging their network to provide additional essential goods. This diversification strengthens their presence and their impact within the communities they serve. To date, Jibu has reached 1,846,110 consumers and produced 125,576,257 litres of clean water, significantly improving access to this essential resource.

Galen is clear about the benefits; “The Jibuntu initiative helps us reach low-income people, ensuring they have access to basic necessities." This allows for a different pricing structure in low-income areas, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their economic status, can access drinking water”.

Jibu is poised to expand and bring their life-changing services to even more communities, furthering their mission of making clean water accessible to all and Water Unite is proud to be partnering with them to achieve their goals.