Danone Communities: Drinkwell – Bringing Safe Drinking Water in The Most Populated Areas of Bangladesh

Drinkwell is a technology-driven social enterprise, supported by Danone Communities, that powers water infrastructure. Established in 2013 by Minhaj Chowdhury, an American-English Fullbright Fellow, Drinkwell believes that global water crisis is a problem equally rooted in technology and service delivery.

Drinkwell’s model is based on low-cost, high-efficiency water kiosks connected to the main water city network through Public Private partnership, incorporating innovative filtration systems, and operated by entrepreneurs as sustainable companies.

©Sandro di Carlo Darsa

HOW DOES THE PROJECT CONTRIBUTE TO DANONE’S 2030 GOALS?

Danone Communities is supporting Drinkwell, a social business based on an innovative technology to treat water in Bangladesh. 

 

Drinkwell focuses on 3 areas:

 

  • Manufacturing arsenic and fluoride removal resins for groundwater;
  • Providing water kiosks, as well as designing, implementing and maintaining community water systems; 
  • Effluent treatment solutions for industrial water systems.

 

Its innovative model based on public-private partnership with urban water authorities enables a large impact focused on urban areas.

 

Through such social businesses, Danone Communities is contributing to Danone’s access to safe drinking water ambition and helps to foster inclusive growth for our communities.

HOW DOES IT CREATE VALUE?

Four billion people do not have access to safe drinking water worldwide and in Bangladesh it concerns more than 65% of the population. 

 

Drinkwell transforms water into opportunities by blending novel filtration technology (an award-winning innovative resin developed with scientists) with a franchise business model to address the arsenic and fluoride crisis across Bangladesh and India.

 

By bringing market-based solutions to the communities that thrive for autonomy and development, Drinkwell impacts more than 150,000 people every day through more than 150 water kiosks up and running to date, and connected to the water utility network.

 

Overall, one of Danone Communities’ priorities is to accelerate access to safe drinking water for all, thus contributing to the UN 6th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). Danone Communities has been a catalyst in spreading the pioneering model called Safe Water Enterprises (SWE). The approach is proven to be a cost-effective mechanism to deliver safely treated drinking water to poor communities. In pursuit of this goal, Danone Communities is calling for the wider adoption of the SWE model and further collaboration to help scale the model so more people and communities can benefit from safe and sustainable water.