Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world, the groundwater resources of which are naturally arsenic-laden. Local populations develop arsenic-related illnesses by drinking this water: skin cancer, intestinal cancer, etc. 77 million people may be impacted by arsenic in Bangladesh.
Veolia and the local microcredit bank, Grameen, have decided to partner up through a joint-venture: Grameen Veolia Water. This company aims to provide a drinking water production and distribution solution for inhabitants of a poor rural zone highly affected by arsenic issues (86% of wells contaminated). To do so, the company has developed a few innovations:
- Grameen Veolia hired a team of Auxiliaries trained by anthropologists who inform the local population and ensure our understanding of the necessary developments of the service.
- Grameen Veolia has also set up an economic equalisation system to finance rural development, by producing and distributing water carboys sold to the richest populations of the neighbouring large city.
2EI steers the developments of Grameen Veolia Water (strategy, marketing, finance) and measures the impact generated by this innovative structure with the Chair of Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship of the ESSEC. To this day 7,500 people have access to drinking water and avoid arsenic contamination. The aim of the project is to have a replicable system to increase its impact.