We harness mobile phone and solar powered technology. Users pay 0.5 pence per jerry can of clean water. Women entrepreneurs maintain the system and manage user payments with eWATERpay. Mothers don’t watch their children die. 

Africa Water Enterprises operates in The Gambia and Senegal and are planning new operations in other countries in West Africa. We provide clean, safe water through the use of small-scale private sector franchises run by woman water entrepreneurs selected from within the community.

– Women water entrepreneurs: the solution for clean water in Africa

The charity is not for profit and employs technology experts and entrepreneurs in the UK to innovate and challenge the existing development approach. Our project partners include the Ministry of Water and Environment in The Gambia, the Agency for Women and Communities and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Our Trustees and Advisors

Alison Wedgwood


Alison Wedgwood, has 18 years experience as a water and sanitation economist and international development. In 1996, she began by working for DFID in the Delhi Water and Sanitation Office and since then she has worked in over 20 countries designing implementing and evaluating water and sanitation projects for DFID, UNICEF, JBIC and the World Bank.

Alison is passionate about integrating modern technology and business practices and encouraging women entrepreneurs to improve the sustainability of rural water supply systems.

Clean water supply in rural Africa is in utter crisis, the hand pump technology is out-dated, users are expected to form village water committees and handle complex maintenance procedures and collect money from their neighbours. Of course it doesn’t happen without expensive top down donor led engagement, which stifles innovation and ends as soon as the donor leaves.”

Rob Hygate, Country Programme Manager

Rob is an entrepreneur who has world wide experience with starting, growing, selling and acquiring digital and technology companies. Following a trip to The Gambia ten years ago he has become passionate about solving the problem of rural water supply.  He doesn’t have an “aid” background and this is our charities strength because our approach is grounded in what works  –  innovation, technology, financial cost recovery and a professional commercial approach. 

Aminata Mballow

Aminata is the Womens’ Water Entrepreneur Manager.

She is from Upper River Region, and lives in a village where the charity first operated.

She is still based most of the time in the field. We have paid for her diploma and training and now she plays a key role in community engagement, negotiating with the village and training new village water entrepreneurs to maintain the village water system and collect the user payments.

Dr Alan Nicol

Dr Alan Nicol, is a water resources development specialist with two decades experience leading policy based research programmes; including three years in Ethiopia directing a DFID funded RPC. He is Head of Water and Sanitation for CARE East Africa. He previously worked at the Overseas Development Institute where he led the Water Policy Programme. Alan supports the work and encourages the innovative approach that Africa Water Enterprises have adopted

Kevin Sansom

Dr Kevin Sansom is a specialist in the management of water and sanitation in rural and urban sectors in Africa and Asia. He has worked extensively in both regions and is a lecturer and programme manager at the Water Environment Development Centre, Loughborough University.  

Tom Wedgwood

Tom Wedgwood, Co-Founder of Newton Europe  (www.NewtonEurope.com) an international engineering process improvement consultancy which employs over 200 professionals in health, defence, manufacturing and private equity.  Tom focuses on ensuring our programmes are financially and technically sustainable and economically efficient delivering maximum impact per pound spent. 

Rowan Matthews-Frederick

Rowan Matthews-Frederick worked in Darfur for Medair and the Nile Centre for Alternative Technology for over 10 years. He invented the Perma Funnel, beating 800 entrants to become a finalist at the Siemens Stiftung Empowering People Award. The Perma Funnel saves 30% of all water lost, prevents water pooling and breeding grounds for mosquitoes and reduces maintenance. Rowan works closely with us on our innovation and technology research.