How might we increase access to safe drinking water in Ghana? 

Water for people

After discovering the horrifying stats of the number of people worldwide that still live without clean drinking water, I joined a team to come up with innovative water ideas. Our concept of disinfecting jerry cans with ozone was presented at the World Water Week in Stockholm, where we earned support from several international companies to bring our project to life. Our solution was implemented in the water pump of a local community in Ghana, and was later acquired by Water for People.

Team Lianne Siemensma, Wouter
van der Wal & Evelien van Zwol 
Photography Wouter van der Wal

Awards Stockholm Junior Water Prize sponsorship
Clients Water for PeopleXylemBlack & Veatch and Plan international

After the World Water Week, we travelled to Ghana to identify the right location for a pilot project. Supported by a local team we were able to do research on location and visited several rural communities in need of clean drinking water. These visits made a deep impression on me and helped me to understand the importance of respecting local culture when trying to implement solutions in developing countries. 



Back home we developed our concept further with help of a nearby research facility. While it was already possible to create ozone by means of modern facilities, creating it with inexpensive materials available in Ghana (like old car components) had never been done before. By using a Piëzo element, we were able to transform 12 volts of an old car battery into 25.000 volts, and generate enough ozone to purify water (with indigo- 5,5’ 7-trisulfate) into clean drinking water. 

Our solution was then implemented in the water pump to disinfect the water and jerry cans of the local community in Ghana. We presented our results at the World Water Week in Stockholm where it gained worldwide recognition and was later acquired by Water for People. 

Jim Clark, Senior Vice President Black & Veatch:

“The team never relented in their efforts to turn their ideas into actions. They worked diligently to develop their plans, and overcame challenges and setbacks to ultimately improve and then implement their projects.” - Jim Clark