Kusini Water, Solar Powered and Up-cycled material

At kusini water we have developed a mobile, solar-powered water purification system that uses locally sourced macadamia nut shells.

Photo of Murendi Mafumo
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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

Kusini Water

Year founded


Initiative stage

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

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 50 - 100

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • South Africa

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

South Africa: Thohoyandou, Witbank



Facebook URL


Twitter URL


Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Globally over 1.1 billion people lack access to what World Health Organization considers to be an adequate water source. Unsafe water and sanitation causes 1.6 million deaths annually, mainly from diarrheal diseases which claims over 5000 children every day. However, in the developing world the overall effectiveness of water and sanitation services is disappointing due to factors such as inadequate investment and lack of local ownerships,resulting in 2 out of 3 of all water projects failing within the first two years

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

At Kusini Water we have develop a mobile, solar-powered water purification system that uses commercial by-products of macadamia nut shells to purify any water at source. At Kusini we use a highly adaptive system that uses less than 33% the amount of energy for a conventional filter and reduces waste by up to 7 times. The system is then ran on a social franchise model which works with local entrepreneurs to provide water locally. We find, train and support these local entrepreneurs to operate our systems and charge a few cents for water which is lower than the cost of boiling water and has the added quality features.

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

Job Creation: So far we have two social franchises and have created 6 new jobs Access: We have improved access to safe drinking water for over 10,000 people, reducing the likelihood of getting diarrhoea diseases and child mortality. In areas we operate in, we reduce the distance to nearest source of safe water by an average of 3KM Environmental: We use the amount of coal that our communities are now saving and have an annual reduction of 10,000 metric tons of CO2 prevention. Our systems are solar powered which reduces the amount of city power (which is coal powered) by 33%

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

This initiative is primarily funded through sales of water directly to the public (70%) via social franchise repayments (20% ) and through direct sale and maintenance of our water purification systems to small municipalities(10%). Our social franchises charge a few cents per liter for water and are cheaper than the cost of buying charcoal.

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

Our unique value proposition lie on our system and growth via a sustainable social franchise model. Our system uses 33% less power, reduce waste by over 7 times and uses locally sourced macadamia nut shells that otherwise would have been waste. As a result, our costs of production are much lower than conventional RO systems and therefore our water and systems are more affordable.

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

As the founder, I used to work for local municipality in the City of Johannesburg under the water and sanitation department, for 4 years we used our expertise and experience to offer drinking water to primarily urban market. However, each time I would go back home during the holidays I'd notice the huge gap when it comes to the democratisation of access to safe drinking water, daily in the rural areas the image is that of little girls and women going to collect water, often walking Kilometers and often having to come back home and still boil the water before consumption. That's is when I decided to dedicate all my effort to solving this issue.

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

  • Ashoka page or contact


Join the conversation:

Photo of Victoria De La Mora

Congratulations, I really liked your work Murendi. Are there any special requirements to start working as a local entrepreneur?

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