• Go with the flow

    Go with the flow

    Plans are afoot for a water purification start-up in South Africa’s Limpopo province that could expand business across the continent.

    Two years ago, the founder of Kusini Water, Murendeni Mafumo, devised a containerised system that uses activated carbon filters made from macadamia nut shells in conjunction with locally synthesised nanofibres and powered by solar power to filter harmful chemicals from any polluted source, according to a report by BizCommunity. The system reportedly removes 99.9% of all bacteria and viruses from the water.

    The scientist-entrepreneur has supplied seven communities in Gauteng and one in Limpopo with his water purification system, after raising ZAR1 million with the help of the Innovation Hub and the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy to develop the devices.

    ‘I used to work in the Johannesburg and Cape Town municipalities’ water and sanitation departments, modelling and designing their water purification systems,’ he says. ‘But I soon realised that, unlike highly urbanised areas, rural communities struggle with access to clean, affordable drinking water. So that’s how I started Kusini Water.’

    Mafumo’s long-term plans include rolling out 100 000 Kusini water purification units around the continent in the next 15 years and launching a solar-powered desalination plant in Cape Town by later this year. The plant planned for the V&A Waterfront will produce enough water for 4 800 households per day. Profits obtained from this plant will be used to fund a second desalination plant in the Cape Flats area.

    18 September 2018
    Images: Gallo/Getty Images