4Life Solutions – safe and affordable drinking water through a plastic bag

Bringing safe and affordable drinking water to low-income communities – through a plastic bag

4Life Solutions (formerly known as SolarSack) is one of the founding members of TechVelopment Denmark. Their mission is to positively change the lives of the 2.2 billion people, who don’t have access to safe drinking water. Their solution is more simple than you’d think: a reusable plastic container and sunlight.

Access to clean drinking water is one of the world’s biggest health and climate challenges.

500,000 people die every year due to waterborne diseases. For many, boiling water is their only option, causing 1.6 million to die prematurely of indoor air pollution every year, and the need for wood fuel leads to severe deforestation in local areas. 

4Life Solutions, founded as SolarSack by Johan Juul Jensen and Alexander Løcke, works to combat both the challenge of safe water access and deforestation by providing an alternative water purification method for some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Their SaWa bag – a plastic container made with a special solar water disinfection method, SODIS – only requires the power of the sun to remove dangerous pathogens and thus making water safe to drink without burning fossil fuels. After four hours in the sun, each bag purifies four litres of water. For just about three dollars for a bag, which can last up to a year, people and communities in low-income settings thus get affordable and green access to clean drinking water, making 4Life Solution’s product a very needed solution for one of the absolute biggest problems on earth – access to clean water without burning fossil fuels.

The Kyangwali Refugee Settlement in Uganda

Since 2020, 4Life Solutions has distributed the SaWa Bag to people in the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement in Uganda. Despite the volatility of last year, 4Life Solutions has successfully distributed 25,000 SaWas in the camps, and the community has been extraordinarily accommodating to what for many users seems almost too good to be true: being able to get safe water just by putting a plastic bag in the sun for a few hours.

The 4Life team recently visited the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement to talk to residents who have been using SolarSack, and CTO & founder Alexander Løcke was pleased to find a high adoption rate of the product, understanding that it saves people time and efforts to collect firewood: 

“this trip illustrated why I developed SolarSack. I wanted to give a choice to vulnerable populations in low-income communities and help take the first step towards reforestation. One of the simplest and most effective ways of doing that is by providing safe drinking water.”

Learn more about 4Life Solutions and their Sawa Bag at their website.