The walk for water

The household consumer brand Nilkamal has launched the innovative “Water Wheel” in partnership with an American firm, Wello. The revolutionary (literally!) design allows women to easily transport the water in a rolling drum eliminating the need for head loading. It has a carrying capacity of 45 litres (more than 2X of traditional methods) and made of durable plastic to withstand long, uneven surfaces while keeping the water hygienic and uncontaminated. The product has been tested for over 2000 kilometres and is leak-proof.

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One of the most important and equally toiling chore was fetching water from the nearest well, which was over 5 miles from her house, in steel pots that she’d carry over her head and on her waist. At least 10 to 20 litres of water was required for the household and that would mean at least four to five trips to the well. She’d spend three to four hours and an incredible amount of energy to fulfil the most basic of needs- water.

WaterWheel: A rolling solution in rural India

This year, American social venture company Wello Water reported that over 2000 WaterWheels have been delivered to different villages in rural India. The WaterWheel is a solution put forward to alleviate the strain water collection has on rural families.

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Defining itself as a social venture with a bold mission (to deliver clean water to a thirsty world), Wello has reinvented the wheel. In many countries, water collection is a job left mainly to women and girls, who spend at least a quarter of each day collecting enough water for their families. By providing a solution, Wello says their time might be better spent at things like education and jobs. Additionally, in areas where safe water is not ready available, water-borne diseases and illness related to poor sanitation practices, like handwashing, are rampant. Wello’s solution is the WaterWheel, which allows users to transport twice as much water in half the time, simply by pushing it along, instead of headloading.

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Wello’s mission is to effectively deliver clean water to a thirsty world. By reframing the water crisis as an opportunity, Wello has developed an innovative business model that empowers individuals to use the WaterWheel as an income-generating tool to lift their families out of poverty. The WaterWheel is an innovative water transportation tool designed to alleviate the problems associated with a lack of easy access to water. “We began selling the WaterWheel 2.5 in May,” says co-founder Cynthia Koenig. “In our first three months of sales, we will have shipped 1500+ WaterWheels across India, Pakistan, and Zambia, positively impacting more than 10,000 individuals to date.”

The Wello Water Wheel

Wello Water is social venture that wanted a way for people (particularly women) to transport water effectively, hygienically and affordably. By doing so the goal was to allow time for school and more efficient family care. Wello believes that “[w]omen with even a few years of education have smaller, healthier families, and are more likely to send their children to school. Female education is a key means of breaking the cycle of poverty.


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“The magic is in the business model,” says Cynthia Koenig, founder of Wello. “It’s not necessarily so much cheaper than other products on the market, but our business model is aiming for profitability through scale.” Wello has thin margins, but the venture expects to break even after three years of operation through both sales of the WaterWheel and sales of advertising space on the device.