Christelle Kwizera provides water and income for rural communities. She says that her company, VOMA Groundwater Solar Kiosks, “will provide an environmentally friendly, financially viable and scalable way for families and businesses to obtain purified water in Rwanda.” VOMA uses simple solar powered kiosks, powering a pump and purification system. The units instantly provide ready to drink water, without further treatment.

VOMA kiosks earn revenue through the sale of the chlorinated drinking water pumped out by solar power. Christelle estimates that each unit will pay for itself and turn over a profit after a year of implementation in a community. And, communities eliminate time spent going out to collect water. Christelle says, “Our customers are likely to be on the bottom of the pyramid but not necessarily in extreme poverty. They make between $1 to $10 daily. Those who are cattle herders often have more than 10 cows and are in cooperatives.”

For paying customers, the price is affordable, and for communities, time is saved and water is safe for drinking. In East African countries where time is a valuable currency, VOMA kiosks can reduce time spent obtaining water.

Christelle was a Winner of the $50,000 Innovation award. The Presidential Jury said, “This entrepreneur displayed incredible passion and commitment to solving water supply issues by developing a simple technology and engaging with and involving communities. She succeeded in providing purified water. She’s thus developed time saving methods for water collection, all the while providing alternative income for communities.”