Social entrepreneur and scientist Murendeni Mafumo has come up with a way to make rain and ground water drinkable, using macadamia nuts. Mafumo won the hearts of judges during the annual Pitch & Polish Startup Competition in Johannesburg.
“Mafumo’s technology is a low cost membrane that can take rainwater or ground water and, using a process of osmosis, clean it ready for drinking. The system is entirely designed and built in South Africa, and a key ingredient of the system – whose top secret formula is currently awaiting a patent – is crushed macadamia nuts,” htxt reported.
His membrane is currently being tested in three different pilot programmes, including coffee shops which are using it to purify rainwater for drinking, a shopping mall which recycling waste water for irrigation and car washing and a low cost desalination plant in Namibia.
South Africa’s clean water shortage is serious challenge that seems to be getting worse in rural areas, another reason why Mafumo’s innovation will be well received in the country. The social entrepreneur is now looking for more funding to further develop Kusini Water’s solution into a product that can be sold to rural municipalities.
Pitch & Polish is a national workshop and competition programme where entrepreneurs get to spend the day in a fun-filled learning environment getting expert guidance on how to pitch their business ideas effectively.
Mafumo is also a 2014 Yale University Mandela Washington fellow who runs gentleGiant* and greenSolns holdings, a technology company that is focused on bringing innovation to the way Maths and Science are learnt in township and rural South Africa. The company now runs in two areas within South Africa and merges mobile technology with a new revolutionary word-based model for the learning of Maths and Science using local university graduates.