With just over 4 weeks to go until the final submission deadline for the 2017 St Andrews Prize for the Environment, we take a look back at one of last year’s finalists and find out what has changed for them since being shortlisted for the prestigious Prize.
2016 finalist, SPOUTS OF WATER, provides clean drinking water to people in East Africa by manufacturing and distributing affordable ceramic water filters. As an alternative to boiling water, the project installs filters in schools; prisons; refugee camps; police and army barracks; and other public spaces. SPOUTS OF WATER began as an attempt to circumvent the cycle of aid and dependence that many clean water solutions seemed to perpetuate.
Co-Founder of SPOUTS OF WATER, Kathy Ku, represented the organisation as part of the 2016 Prize. She spoke to us about being shortlisted for the Prize, and how it has helped them grow their team and capabilities, bringing them closer to their aim of bringing clean water to everyone.
“Since we were selected as a finalist, SPOUTS has grown to a team of more than 40 people. We've also started construction of our new factory site to expand our production capacity. The financial support of the Prize has helped us take this next step forward in our expansion, and has also allowed us to introduce Purifaaya XL, a large-scale ceramic filter for use in public spaces, to our product mix.”
As well as the publicity and financial support gained from entering the Prize, the contacts made through being shortlisted has allowed them to improve their offering even further.
“In addition to the financial support, we were able connect with ceramics experts through St. Andrews University and the Royal Academy of Engineers. This will go a long way in helping improve the production process of our filters.”
Many key milestones have been accomplished by SPOUTS OF WATER since being shortlisted, including receiving the 2016 Energy Globe Award for Uganda, launching their marketing campaign, and embarking on new partnerships with key retail outlets across Uganda. On top of all of this, SPOUTS OF WATER has distributed over 7,000 filters in how long.
“If I could give any words of advice to those considering entering the Prize, it would be to go for it, and dream big!”
To find out more about SPOUTS OF WATER, visit www.spoutsofwater.org
Enter the 2017 Prize Here.