IFC supports small communities water treatment plant

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) the private sector financing arm of the World Bank is investing US$1.2 million in WaterHealth International (WHI) to develop and market water purification systems for small communities, institutions and households in Ghana and the Philippines.

The funding will also help develop and implement the company’s entry into the market in India and Mexico.

This is the first investment of its kind by IFC through its Environmental Opportunities Facility, whose role is to identify proven technologies that address local environmental problems in developing countries. The facility provides commercial credits and technical assistance to companies that can effectively deliver products and services to meet the demand for clean water.

WHI’s water systems have very low capital expenditures and operating costs so are practical and affordable for a wide range of populations in developing countries. They can provide 10 litres of high quality drinking water a day per person at a rough cost of US$2 per person per year.

“The demand for distributed, decentralised water treatment systems is growing rapidly in the developing world, while few business models have emerged to serve this demand. We believe WHI is well positioned to pursue this market based on a commercial model, thus helping address an environmental problem that has a direct public health benefit in the developing world,” said Jeff Liebert, the project’s investment officer at the IFC.

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