Grameen Veolia Water Ltd.

Need:

Nature has bestowed the blessing of abundant fresh water on Bangladesh, in the form of numerous groundwater resources that are not too deep and are therefore easy to exploit. However, for essentially geological reasons, almost all of the groundwater has been found to be contaminated with arsenic, very often at levels that make it a health hazard. At the beginning of the 1990s, hospitals in Bangladesh started reporting an alarming increase in the number of cases of arsenicosis. Today, 30 million Bangladeshis have fallen victim to chronic arsenic poisoning and some have even died.

Social business solution:

Against this background, Grameen and Veolia Water have decided to join forces and combine their complementary skills to make clean and safe water accessible to villagers in the poorest parts of Bangladesh.

According to the precepts of social business, whereby there are "neither losses nor dividends," this investment will be paid for by water charges levied on consumers, which will in turn enable similar projects to be started elsewhere. The equipment will be manufactured locally on the basis of know-how transferred by Veolia Water. Grameen Bank's extensive network will enable charges to be collected by appropriate means. About ten jobs will be created in each of the villages involved.

The first plant, currently in the planning stage, will bring safe water suitable for drinking and cooking, complying with WHO standards, to the 20 to 25,000 inhabitants of Goalmari, a village 100km east of Dhaka. A specific distribution network will be installed on the basis of a detailed survey of user requirements and will include standpipes, small storage tanks and collective connections.
Therefore Grameen Veolia Water Ltd. contributes to the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to end poverty.

Outlook:

Grameen Veolia Water Ltd's task will be to build and operate several water production and treatment plants in some of the poorest villages in the center and south of Bangladesh. All in all, 100,000 people in around 5 villages are forecast to be served by this initiative for a total investment of EUR 500,000.

Visit Grameen Veolia Water Ltd.

Grameen Veolia Water Ltd.

Prof. Yunus and Antoine Frérot sign the joint venture contract of Grameen Veolia Water Ltd.

Distribution of cleaned surface water

Distribution of cleaned surface water

Grameen Veolia Water Ltd. supplies water at WHO standard

Grameen Veolia Water Ltd. supplies water at WHO standard

"I am very impressed by the social business model developed by Professor Muhammad Yunus. I am convinced that it is precisely what we need to implement effective solutions for the supply of drinking water to the poorest communities" - Antoine Frérot, CEO of Veolia Water.