Based on an approach to financing that is catalytic and has the potential to leverage additional financing, early investments have been identified for initial programmes:


Sanitation For Millions (S4M)

S4M is a global, multi-donor program with the objective to improve access to safely managed sanitation and hygiene, especially in countries hosting high numbers of refugees. Implemented by the GIZ and currently funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary and ourselves. Initial interventions are implemented in schools, public and religious institutions and health care facilities in Pakistan, Jordan and Uganda, with special attention given to the needs of women and girls and other vulnerable groups. At least 200,000 people are expected to have an improved access to sanitation and hygiene services in this phase. This multi-donor partnership is designed specifically to enable other funders to join and expand impact to other countries in Asia and Africa.                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Mobilizing blended finance for water security in Cape Town

Between 2015 and 2018, severe drought threatened the water security of Cape Town’s 4 million people and exacerbated the divide between rich and poor. One cost effective way to reduce the water crisis is to restore the ecological health of Cape Town’s supply watersheds - a restoration project that would generate 50 billion litres of water gains per year corresponding to a sixth of Cape Town’s supply needs. Water Unite will support its partner The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to define a blended financing strategy to raise the necessary investments, estimated at USD 25 million, to establish the Greater Cape Town Water Fund - a water governance structure - and ensure its sustainability.  In particular, the strategy will explore potential long-term municipal funding (from issuing bonds to raising water services fees) and identify investable opportunities for development and commercial banks.


Strengthening the plastic value chain in Mozambique

98% of waste in Mozambique remains untreated. The collection infrastructure is weak and this undermines the viability of the recycling industry. At the same time, the government of Mozambique has adopted an EPR regulation on packaging material and introduced an environmental tax.  This tax may be offset if manufacturers and importers can demonstrate they are collecting and recycling packaging material that has been put in the market. There is therefore a growing interest to start looking at efficient collection and take-back systems. Water Unite is partnering with a Mozambique based recycling company, 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle), in the port city of Beira. Our grant will enable 3R to assess whether a decentralised network of secondary collection points can be part of the solution. In view of the recent devastation of Beira by Cyclone Idai, we will liaise with 3R and its partners to see what can be done to further support the massive clean-up required as the water recedes.

Recycling plastic waste into construction materials

Since the 1950s, it is estimated that around 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide. Gjenge Makers aims to become the major provider of durable, recycled construction material through Kenya and the African continent. Their mission is to provide sustainable and affordable housing while promoting a recycling and upcycling culture. They currently produce bricks from discarded plastic. They employ 112 people from marginalised communities as plastic pickers, providing jobs to people who otherwise would not have the opportunity to work. Creating employment for people in marginalised communities while resolving an environmental issue of disposal of plastic. Funds will be used to scale operations by investing in manufacturing machines, a more significant and faster extruder machine and hydraulic press that will allow the team to take on large volume orders.

Fair Trade recycled plastic

India generates an estimated 62 million tonnes of waste annually. Up to 4 million waste pickers sort and segregate recyclable waste and sell it further up the value chain. Waste pickers often hail from the most marginalised communities in urban spaces. Plastics for Change’s programme revolves around strengthening the supply chain of waste management with regard to plastic waste and intervening to minimise exploitation of waste pickers. Using mobile technology they have created the world’s first Fair Trade plastic (currently sold in THE BODY SHOP). A fair price for the plastic collected by waste pickers is guaranteed. Also, the middlemen like scrap shop owners are incentivised on the goods they procure and price they pay. Ensuring the waste picking community gets a fair price for their collection and minimising exploitation.