I am the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Saha Global, a non-profit that gets clean drinking water to the poorest people in the most remote parts of the world. I am a former aerospace engineer and am passionate about finding simple solutions to difficult solutions, which is what first drew me to the global water crisis. I’ve worked throughout Africa for ten years and found that again and again, the problem when trying to get clean water to rural villages is not technology, …
I am the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Saha Global, a non-profit that gets clean drinking water to the poorest people in the most remote parts of the world. I am a former aerospace engineer and am passionate about finding simple solutions to difficult solutions, which is what first drew me to the global water crisis. I’ve worked throughout Africa for ten years and found that again and again, the problem when trying to get clean water to rural villages is not technology, it’s distribution. I established Saha while in graduate school at MIT to deliver clean water for all using materials readily available everywhere.
Saha’s goal is simple: get poor people to drink clean water. We set up village women with water treatment businesses that provide clean water that all can afford. We provide simple water treatment technology, mentor the women entrepreneurs and monitor each business. Saha currently works in rural Ghana where we have opened 100 water businesses that provide safe drinking water to 48,174 people and jobs to 256 women. 100% of these businesses are still in operation today.
I currently split my time between Ghana and Boston, where I live with my husband and infant daughter, Josie. While I have always been passionate about water, becoming a mother has only made me more excited about Saha’s mission. Every 90 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease, but they don’t have to. I am fighting for Saha because we have the solution to this problem. Saha’s model works. Now, we just need to grow and the Charity Warriors Challenge can help us to do that. Our aim is to reach the 800,000 people in northern Ghana who are still without clean drinking water by 2023. Once we achieve 100% coverage in northern Ghana, we will expand to other areas of extreme need throughout the rural developing world.
Despite increased global access to clean water over the past 15 years, 2,000 children die everyday from preventable waterbourne disease. Why? The Millennium Development Goals incentivized solutions that focused on increasing water access. But, access is only the first step to impacting health. People need to get clean water, but they then need to safely store that water and drink it exclusively. These behaviors are particularly difficult to achieve in rural villages where open defecation combined with poor hygiene practices makes it easy for clean water to get re-contaminated and convenient, yet fecally contaminated, surfaced water sources are free and easy options for busy farmers.
Saha focuses on impact, not access. Our mission is to reduce waterbourne disease so that children do not die before they turn five. We work in the northern region of Ghana where we make it really easy for people to get clean water that will stay clean until they drink it. We partner with entrepreneurial women in the village and set them up with a chlorinating business that provides clean water that all can afford. For just over $12 per person we provide simple water treatment technology to a village, mentor the women entrepreneurs and monitor the business for ten years. Saha has opened 100 water businesses in rural Ghana. Every one of them is still running.
Saha’s simple approach works better than anything else out there and we have compelling evidence to back that up. All of the funds raised through the Charity Warriors Challenge will fund our expansion in Ghana. Once we achieve 100% coverage in northern Ghana, we will expand to other areas of extreme need throughout the rural developing world.
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