As we begin 2014, we are pleased to report on the continued progress we are making to supply communities with safe water from locally owned and operated water stations. Now in 50 locations in Ghana and India, we continue to build on our experience to improve operations and economics while attracting more people to use safe water. Of our Safe Water Stations that have been open more than a year, 90% are covering direct operating costs and are on the critical path to local sustainability.
The success we see on the ground was reinforced by remarks made by former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan during a visit in August to our water station in Obeyeyie, Ghana.
Obeyeyie's 2,500 people previously drank contaminated water; today 85% of its households purchase and use safe water. One community member, Ama Amponsah, opened a restaurant next to Obeyeyie's Safe Water Station. Since we introduced her in last year's "Year End Review," I'm pleased to report Ama is having a record year, attracting more customers because of her safe water (and her specialty: banku and palm nut soup!).
As we look to build on our successes I'm reminded of what Paul Newman, one of our co-founders, often remarked: "Nice start, now let's get to work." With this in mind, the year ahead for Safe Water Network is both wide ranging and ambitious: extensive field expansions to prove the model at scale, continued optimization of our approach and more collaborations with our partners - old and new. As always, we welcome and greatly appreciate your ideas, partnerships and financial contributions. On behalf of the entire Safe Water Network team, I extend our best wishes to you and your family during this new year!
For a pdf of our 2013 Annual Review Summary click here.