Thursday, 5 January 2012

5 Newsworthy Notes to welcome 2012..

Happy New Year! I hope you're all settling back into routine as invigorated and inspired as we are. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our more noteworthy news. We hope you will take a few minutes to read of our progress and please do get back to us with any comments and/or connections you are able to make. Your support is, and always has been, invaluable to us..

1.) Pilot Deployment with FARM Africa

As you will have seen, this summer saw a pilot deployment of 8 units in Mwingi, Eastern Kenya, with the support of FARM Africa. The trial was extremely successful and saw the culmination of many months of supply chain and logistical work as well as updates to the design of the unit itself and over a year of relationship building with partners in the UK, China and Kenya.

The core components of the units were shipped from the factory in China to Mombasa, then brought overland from Mombasa to our workshop in Nairobi where the frames were built using local materials and labour. Working with FARM Africa’s local staff, we then trialled these units with the community in Mwingi, where they were very well received by the site staff and local women/girls, alike. We were also able to establish that local craftsmen were more than capable of carrying out required routine maintenance such as replacing the filter cartridge and adjusting the cycle chain.

2.) Subsequent Product Development

Following the deployment in Mwingi we judged that the current pump, whilst perfectly functional, was not optimal for the usage environment. In response to this we have established a relationship with UK-based pump manufacturers, Williamson, and are collaborating on a bespoke pump design which, when completed in early 2012, will not only increase performance but will significantly reduce the cost of production and give us much greater control over component sourcing.

3.) Intellectual Property

Last month we were excited to receive a “Notice of Allowance” from the European Patent Office that confirms our patent will be granted. The patent was originally filed at the beginning of 2007 so to reach this stage represents a marked success in a major ongoing body of work.

4.) Partnership with Rotary

We have also spent much of the last 6 months building a relationship with Rotary International. At the end of 2011, at least one local club has taken the initiative and committed to fundraise for at least 50 units. We have high hopes that this enthusiasm, which is being followed up by a number of other local clubs, will be indicative of the wider Rotary response.

5.) Launch of a suite of CSR Packages and Donate Function

In response to inbound enquiries we launched a number of Corporate Social Responsibility packages at the annual “Good Deals” Social Enterprise conference in November. Beginning at £25k to supply 250 individuals with safe drinking water, Midomo is seen as a great low-cost, media-friendly option for organisations looking to create measurable social impact across multiple targets whilst reinforcing brand ethics amongst consumers and employees alike.

We also added the option for individual donations, and our Midomo Bracelet campaign is ongoing into 2012.

If you have any comments or if there are any connections you'd like to make relating to the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

All the best,
Team RBD.