Are you a community member or entrepreneur? Join us and become a WaterStarter too.

Here’s how it works:

Do you come from a water stressed area, and would you want to kickstart a WaterStarters programme within your community? Then start by first submitting your Expression of Interest: why do you want to partake in this program, how will it benefit your community, and what role do you want to play? Once we have read your letter, we’ll pay a visit to your community to see if its suitable for WaterStarters. We’ll also inform you about what we offer, what’s expected of you as a franchisee, and how the process works. Important to note is that an initial investment of 15% from your end is non-negotiable. This is key to our franchise model as it creates ownership and stimulates entrepreneurship. 

If we’re both happy and ready to move forward, we can start the implementation process. We conduct groundwater scans together with our partners. We also collect the data needed for our dashboard, to also present to investors and donors. Simultaneously local healthcare workers are trained by Amref Health Africa, whilst you receive operations and maintenance training. You’re now a business owner who can provide stable water sources to grow crops and herd cattle. Reducing time spent on fetching water enables children to go to school and women to conduct productive activities.

What do we expect from the community or entrepreneur?

  • A water scheme with a service population of at least 2,500 people
  • Upfront franchise contribution of 15% of the initial project costs
  • Manage daily operations of the water scheme
  • Franchise agreement (term: 6 years) includes two different payments:
    • A fixed payment to recover part of the initial investment
    • A variable percentage of the monthly gross sales to cover for major O&M costs 

What will WaterStarters provide?

  • Funding and business advice
  • All technical designs and installation services
  • Monitoring equipment, systems & dashboards
  • Health programme and water demand creation
  • Guaranteed timely maintenance service with a maximum downtime of 72 hours

Our process

Submission of Expression of Interest

Applicant makes a formal request to be supported by WS by filling out and submitting an Expression of Interest (EoI) form.

Evaluation by WaterStarters

WS evaluates the EOI based on selection criteria. EOI accepted or declined and communicated to the applicant. WS conducts preliminary field visits to gather more information about the site.

Design & Costing

WS conducts preliminary designs. WS conducts baseline and groundwater quick scan. WS and applicant agree on the scope of the project (the installations to be made). WS provides cost estimates and a draft franchise contract for applicant to review.

Formalisation and Financial Contribution

WS and applicant sign franchise contract once both parties are satisfied. The water scheme owner contributes 15% of the initial costs. WS contributes the remaining 85% of the project costs (42.5% grant and 42.5% recoverable).

Infrastructure Development

WS puts up water infrastructure as per design (borehole drilling, pump installation, solar, pipeline, tanks, etc.). WS tests and commisions the project.

Capacity Building

Maji Water Storage trains water scheme owners in operations, maintenance, minor repairs and water quality testing. If applicable, Maji Milele trains the community on the use of prepaid water meters. WS trains local health workers using Leap.

Running the Project

Water scheme owner runs the project on a daily basis, incl. operations, maintenance, minor repairs and water quality testing. Water scheme owner pays franchise fee and investment recovery payment on a monthly basis. WS conducts major repairs if necessary. Both monitor project through dashboard.

End of contract

Water scheme owner finishes payment of all dues. Water scheme owner and WS agree to terminate or extend contract. Contract period expires or extends.

Get more information

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Abstraction of water from boreholes will be done in accordance with Water Resource Authority (WRA) regulations and Acacia Water to prevent over-exploitation of underground aquifers. We also conduct Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for every new borehole use the Environmental Monitoring and Management Plan (EMMP). This prevents and mitigates potential environmental risks associated with proposed water technologies. Monitoring of ground water should lead to enough water resources to sustain the different ecosystems.

Through our monitoring dashboard we lower the chance of the boreholes running dry by poor management. Real time feedback and early warning systems through app or SMS inform franchisees and WaterStarters in time, thereby preventing downtime.

You send us a letter of interest. Please see the contact details to reach us.

WaterStarters aims for a maximum borehole downtime of 72 hours by partnering with Maji Water Storage. They ensure the availability of spare parts in Kenya and repair / replacement services within this time span. Such (larger) repairs are covered by WaterStarters (franchisor) through franchise fees. Maintenance (administration) and minor repairs are the responsibility of the franchisees, covered through the sales of water.

The solar panels have a 20-year power output guarantee, and pumps are amortized over 8 years. WaterStarters will closely monitor the installation.

WaterStarters gathers data on various aspects related to the operation of its program. i.e., water discharge, consumption patterns, solar production, energy consumption, health impact, etc. The data available to the public differs from the data available to an investor or franchisee.

Panel output will be monitored. Should panels be defect, they will be replaced. Existing generators can be kept by the communities as a back-up solution as they like.