It seems these days there are an increasing number of natural (and unnatural) disasters happening. You see images of stranded people, injured animals, and devastated environments. What about concrete solutions with life and usefulness after the cameras have gone home?
LifeGivingForce is one of those.
What it does is simple, yet incredibly important for so many reasons: it provides clean water. Without clean water, disease spreads quickly, a ripple effect of illness and death that lasts long after the initial impact of the disaster itself.
LifeGivingForce produces what it calls Rapid Response units, which can be as small as a suitcase, fully solar powered, and able to service 5000 people a day. Their largest unit is able to run for 4 days continuously even amidst foul weather, serving up to 37,500 people at 2 liters a day. Depending on the natural resources available, it can also be wind powered.
In all cases, setup and deployment are, as the name suggests, rapid. Even the most elaborate machine takes 2 people 20 minutes to have it up and running.
All well and good, but how do people in disaster regions afford such a thing?
LifeGivingForce uses what they call a “humanitarian entrepreneurship business model;” the company is both a for-profit LLC and a non profit foundation. 51% of the LLC’s profits go to the LifeGivingForce Foundation, which supports social and economic development programs in Haiti and Pakistan. This means that places that can’t as yet afford LifeGivingForce’s expertise and equipment have their costs otherwise covered by the companies non-profit arm.
In Pakistan, a proposal is currently being developed that could mean employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for locals who can run LifeGivingForce machines and provide low cost water to their communities. Sehat Pani is a joint initiative of LifeGivingForce and Opinno, an international business incubator. The aim is for this to be a Pakistani owned and operated business.
We too can play a part in supporting the well being of people in need by meeting our own, via LifeGivingForce’s home water filtration products.
Though only in operation since early 2010, it’s clear that LifeGivingForce has designed its business to be sustainable, both in the ecological and financial sense. Their solutions are and will provide fast temporary or ongoing clean water, and create opportunities long after it’s got an active presence on location.
MythBusters star Tory Belleci & LifeGivingForce demonstrate the suitcase sized Rapid Response unit in Haiti:
LifeGivingForce CEO Jim Chu demonstrates the stark difference their machines make in Pakistan:
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing.