Community Scaled Automatic Chlorine Doser for safe drinking water named Zimba

Zimba addresses the problem of safe drinking water for the 2.3 billion people who depend on shared drinking water sources such as borewells.

Photo of Barid Tarafdar
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name


Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $1k - $10k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 5,000 - 10,000

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • India

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

India: Puri, Bhadrak, Howrah, Nadia Bangladesh: Rohingiya Refugee Camp, Ukhea, Cox's Bazar Kenya: Eldoret


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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Each year over 1 million children under the age of five die from diarrheal diseases, a leading cause of which is unsafe drinking water. In India alone, 1,500 children die every day from water borne diseases. Even when diarrheal episodes are not fatal, chronic diarrhoea in early childhood can contribute to malnutrition, with potentially adverse long-term consequences for child development. Centralized treatment and distribution systems are prohibitively expensive, requiring large investment in piped water networks.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Zimba addresses the problem of safe drinking water for the 2.3 billion people who depend on shared drinking water sources, such as borewells and municipal taps. Zimba, an automatic chlorine dispenser having no moving parts and requiring no electricity, overcomes these challenges by 1) dosing the water automatically at the source 2) precise dosing of chlorine irrespective of water pressure or flow rate and 3) the ability to be retrofitted to a variety of water sources 4) Adjustable dose. A gravity and pressure driven dispensing mechanism precisely chlorinates water entering from a tap or a handpump. Untreated water enters the Zimba through a cleanable screen that screens suspended particles and insects, is dosed appropriately by sodium hypochlorite solution (bleach) stored inside a reservoir inside the device, and exits in to a holding tank attached with taps. Treated water is collected by users by operating the taps.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

We have so far installed 60 units in India and abroad, mostly in schools, colleges, communities and refugee camps. Each Zimba unit is capable of providing ten litres of water per minute twenty four hours a day. On a modest scale, if we reckon at least two hundred beneficiaries for each of the devices, there would be twelve thousand people who have benefitted.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

100 pct from earned income.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Zimba addresses the problem of safe drinking water for the 2.3 billion people who depend on shared drinking water sources, such as borewells and municipal taps. Both centralized and household-level approaches to water treatment have consistently failed to provide safe water to this target market. Centralized treatment and distribution systems are prohibitively expensive. Zimba chlorinates at source (point of collection) at cheap rate in large volumes. Its a plant running without electricity.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

While volunteering with NGOs, my partner suprio realized that social work and engineering background could be combined together to come up with simple low cost devices that could make life better for the poor. The joy of creation combined with social objectives fuelled his journey of more than two years to come up with a working prototype of Zimba. With all the positive feedback from communities and water organizations that this device has received, we feel that the risks now are much less than when he decided to devote his entire time to developing a device that many people have struggled to develop in the past. With a huge market wide open, the technology being developed to benefit millions, we can see the winning post and we cannot stop ourselves from taking the risks which are now much less than what it was when he started designing the technology all alone.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Upon recommendation from others

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Photo of Pamela Quino Ramos

Hola Barid Tarafdar , te invito a conocer nuestra propuesta: Mejora del Aprovechamiento Sostenible de los Recursos Hídricos en San Pedro de Casta.