October 26, 2020
Featured Irrigation Technology Water Conservation Water Movers & Shakers

Majik Water technology will help to alleviate water scarcity

Majik Water is a technology-driven solution company that uses a prototype machine to harvest water from the atmosphere which is then provided as clean water to off-grid communities. The device absorbs water from the air and converts it into clean drinking water using solar technology – using silica gel that are non-toxic desiccants and sponge-like materials to absorb water from atmosphere.
How was it founded?
Humidity is captured into the device by a solar-powered fan and the desiccant collects the water.The gels are heated with solar power to release the water.
Majik Water was set up by Anastasia Kaschenko, Beth Koigi and Clare Sewell and the company registered in 2017. Majik is derived from Kiswahili words Maji meaning water while K stands for Kuvuna – which means to harvest.
Beth was born in Kijabe an area with adequate water supply. But when she was admitted to study at Chuka University, perennial water shortages were common, which forced them to buy clean drinking water as the only available source was filthy. “Going for months without any tap water turned into a grave situation. We couldn’t get any tap water at all, simple things like going to the toilet was hectic – I would go to the mall instead. Having no water at all is worse than having unpurified water, so I started thinking about a way to not have to rely on the council,”  she recalled. This long suffering motivated her to create carbon filters to achieve water purification.
Reliable solutions
Later, while undertakng a course on climate change at Singularity University at the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center in California, she met Clare Sewell and Anastasia Kaschenko who had similar idea to provide reliable water solutions to the society.
Clare, had been working as a strategic consultant for 9 years in London before also set up her own startup firm in Malawi. Anastacia is an expert in Environmental Science and she has worked for product research and development companies in Canada. Beth graduated with a Master’s degree in Project Planning and Management from the University of Nairobi and has extensive project management and water market expertise having started her own water filtration company that distributed over 5,000 filters to low income households in Kenya.
The ladies realised they shared a common vision to provide a lasting solution to water scarcity around the world where everyone has access to adequate clean drinking water. One of the first pilot project they embarked on was at the Ark Children’s Home in Thika which has a device that harvests 50 litres of water per day.
This project provides the staff and children with clean and safe drinking water generated from the atmosphere. The company’s second project is  already on its third piloting stage in Cape Town South Africa and provides 500 liters per day depending on levels of humidity.
Non-renewable sources
These pilot projects aim to guage how the technology will perform in Kenya and South Africa.  Notably, the solar energy and batteries used for the prototype are expensive and the company is currently looking for ways to reduce the costs. The company intends to partner with non-renewable sources of energy firms to make their device affordable and provide sustainable energy sources of energy to prospective clients.
Majik Water has scooped accorlades for instance the EDF Pulse Africa awards in Paris, emerging the winner out of 97 companies that submitted entries in 2017.
“Access to drinking water is one of the continents greatest challenges. Our solution helps prevent the spread of certain disuses, thereby helping to save lives. EDF Pulse Africa gives us the opportunity to cross borders and develop our project in francophone Africa. Our project lead team is made up of three women. Female entrepreneurship in Africa must be encouraged”, said Beth Koigi after Majik Water was presented with the award. In 2018, the company scooped the runner-up for the MIT’s water Innovation Prize, earned third place at University of Oxford Africa Innovation Fair and also honoured as the Young Water Solutions Fellowship 2018.  Last year in November, Majik water was shortlisted for the forthcoming 2019 Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize awards.
Environmental champions
The Royal Academy of Engineering Africa prize, now in its fifth year, short-lists 16 African inventors from six countries to contest for funding, training and mentorship projects that can revolutionise agriculture, science and women’s health sectors. The winner will be awarded £25,000 and three runners up receive £10,000 each.
Beth alongside her cofounders, Sewell and Anastasia, were also among the UN Environmental Young Champions of the Earth 2018 finalists. Majik Water also featured on the Financial Times as one of the new innovations set to transform and shape the world in the future. In addition, the company was among nine firms that had a chance to pitch at the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), a body that backed the ISHOW Innovation.
It is estimated there is six times as much water in the air as there is in all rivers in the world. If you have air, you can have enough, clean, safe drinking water. The company advocates for water-from-air technologies as a great solution that can be used when clean drinking water from natural sources is not readily available. With climate change effects and rising population across the world, water remains a scarce resource in some countries. But with innovations like Majik Water, technology can hasten permanent solutions across a range of sustainable Development Goals, among them water and sanitation, health, economics and the environment.
Contaminated resources
Sustainable Development Goal number six aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. “The problem is that, increasingly, people are suffering from drought, or their water is contaminated with items that are dangerous but are expensive to remove from the water, such as the high fluoride contamination in parts of Kenya. This means there are large water-stressed swathes of the country where organizations will not drill boreholes because the water sources does not meet World Health Organization standards”, notes Sewell, a Majik Water co-founder.
Beth explained that the water company is targeting to reach out to the local communities living in arid and semi-arid regions who do not have access to enough clean drinking water.
She further expressed great hope that in two to three years from now, the development of Majik Water will advance to manufacture more ‘majik ‘products in the market by establishing water bottling substations in Kenya and abroad.

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