Featured entrepreneur: Laban Onono, Fairbrooks Water Purification

Featured entrepreneur: Laban Onono, Fairbrooks Water Purification

In developing countries, water purification can be costly and energy-intensive. Due to the lack of proper public infrastructure, purifying water requires significant investments in the construction of private wells and pumps that can filter underground water from bacteria and sediments. While access to clean water is a luxury that only a small part of the population can afford, many are forced to boil the water they use. 

Fairbrooks Water Purification

Fairbrooks Water Purification, a venture supported by the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC), has developed an innovative PVC-based tube system that filters water in an effective and cost-efficient way. First, ground water is pumped into a high tower; in a second phase, gravity pushes the water through a tube system that filters out bacteria, sediments, and other particles. This innovative system can produce up to 10,000 liters of clean and safe water per hour. “My system is much less costly, less energy-intense, and less noisy than regular water filtering systems,” said the company’s founder Laban Onono.

Mr. Onono started his innovative company three years ago and his successful business is already an inspiration for many new local entrepreneurs. The system is patented and has been sold to large hotels, restaurants, and many organizations across the country.

The system costs around $12,000 and targets mainly institutions and the service sector. However, Mr. Onono is working to bring his innovation to a larger part of the population. To do so, he has sought the support of the KCIC to develop and launch communal water systems. “I would like to set up a system with 'water vouchers' for poor people in rural areas,” explained Mr. Onono. “Local governments or non-governmental organizations would acquire the purification system, while ordinary consumers could help with the maintenance. In exchange for their assistance, people can receive 'vouchers' that would make water consumption completely free.”

The Kenya CIC has supported over 75 entrepreneurs and companies since its launch in September 2012.


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