Creating a Clean Water Economy in Haiti
Kouzin Dlo is a clean water social business in Haiti that desires to see clean water provided for Haitians by Haitians. To that end, Kouzin Dlo distributes household water purification products through a network of female entrepreneurs, in order to increase access to clean water across Haiti, and provide economic opportunities for women.
We sell liquid chlorine, a low-cost and effective technology for water purification that has been used for hundreds of years to prevent diseases such as cholera. We are making these affordable products readily available by training women as independent agents, who then sell our products within their neighborhoods and social networks. We prepare our agents for the field, to ensure their success as representatives of our company. We train them in waterborne disease prevention, sales communication and basic business practices. Through this model, Kouzin Dlo engages the largely unemployed adult female population to provide a much needed service.
Our product is priced to reach deeper into the base of the pyramid than the typical private water kiosk model. In urban areas, one 5-gallon bucket of treated water can amount to more than 25% of the average daily income. This makes clean water a luxury. Our product is 90 times cheaper than private clean water kiosks. That opens up a wider market, allowing customers to afford to use clean water for more activities in their homes.
According to Carliene, one of our managers, “Kouzin Dlo’s logo is women holding hands, which is perfect because one woman can’t make this work. When we all work together as a family, we can sell this product and help more people be healthy.” As we adapt and grow, it is not only bringing clean water to Haiti, it is helping women like Carliene find their voices and bring change to their communities.
It has been 2 years since we started working on Kouzin Dlo, and we’ve now been in Haiti for over 15 months with our lean start-up machine. We’re taken aback by how much we’ve grown, and are doubling down on our approach to see how far we can go. Since June 2014, we have trained 270 women as clean water micro-entrepreneurs. Collectively they have purchased 4,400 bottles of chlorine and 100 clean water-storage buckets for resale. These bottles of chlorine represent 200,240 days of clean water for households around Port-au-Prince and a savings of $79,250 compared to private water kiosks.
In the future, we believe Kouzin Dlo’s network has the potential to be leveraged for the distribution of other health products. But today, we’re working to provide clean water for Haitians by Haitians through a locally informed and profitable business model. Learn more at www.kouzindlo.com, and watch our video: