Why do we exist and why should you care?
Water is the foundation
Water is vital for life and critical component of economic activities. It is estimated that roughly 1,000 children are killed from water-related diseases each day. Roughly 72 per cent of households rely on women and primarily girls to fetch and haul water, when there is no water resources around the home.
More than two thirds of those lacking clean water live on less than $2 per day. the UN estimates that roughly 2.1 billion people lack access to safe, potable water and roughly 40 per cent of the global population suffer from water scarcity.
The UN estimates that more than 340,000 children under five, die from diseases caused by unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, or poor hygiene. From an economic perspective, it is estimated that every $1 invested on water and water sanitation generates $4 of economic return.
Water is the foundation of health and wealth. Water has the power to democratize wealth. The reality is that the most marginalized and most disadvantaged poor are those most at risk.
Project Terra Firma of Canada (tf.) /
Project Terra Firma du Canada (tf.)
Terra Firma is a registered charitable organization, and in partnership with Operation Water (OW), is focused on developing critical, scalable and sustainable water infrastructure in developing communities and emerging countries, serving the greatest number of people at the lowest cost per person. Our big, audacious goal is to end the global water crisis in the next 30 years by leveraging our local, technical, and financial expertise.
In prior projects (pre-2018), we focused on building capacity in small and medium-sized companies in developing communities, with the objective if creating stable, secure employment for the working poor. Scalability, reach and sustainability in these projects proved extremely difficult.
In 2018, we pivoted to water infrastructure given its long-dated, far-reaching, and potential impact. Operation Water (OW), under the leadership of Ryan Phillips-Page, has developed key relationships and execution capabilities, which are critical to getting the job done. While tf. may consider other projects in the future, we will focus our efforts, capital, and network on water infrastructure. Water infrastructure has the power to democratize health and wealth among the world's most disadvantaged and working poor.
Operation Water (OW)
Operation Water (OW) is a registered 501(c)3 in the United States and dedicated to developing critical, sustainable water infrastructure in emerging countries. This project would not be possible without Operation Water and their dedicated, innovative leadership team (See biographies in "Our CxOs" section).
OW signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) for water infrastructure development with AIAS, a Mozambican parastatal responsible for the delivery of water infrastructure in secondary cities. OW also has secured support for the project with the Ministry of Public Works & Housing and the Ministry of Finance. These relationships and the signed MOU forms the basis of the work in Mozambique.
OW, in partnership with Project Terra Firma of Canada, intends to deliver clean water to the greatest number of people, at the lowest cost per person, by developing sustainable infrastructure. Our objective is to end the global water crisis in the next 30 years by leveraging our local, technical, and financial expertise.
OW is focused on high priority, economically sensitive, and socially-critical projects, reducing execution risk, maximizing social impact and, for impact investors, generating financial returns.
OW is engaging stakeholders to execute scalable, sustainable water infrastructure projects on a Public-Private Partnership model, utilizing "Capital Light" financing structure.
Our inaugural project, Project H20, is located in Mozambique (MZ). In Mozambique, roughly 49% or 13 million people do not have access to clean, potable water and the social progress index (for access to improved sources of water and sanitation) ranks the country 128th and 119th, respectively out of 135 countries. Project H2O will deliver clean, potable drinking water to roughly 700,000 people, including ~140,000 children.
OW has engaged MZ stakeholders, including the Ministry of Public Works & Housing, the Ministry of Finance, and the public utility and secured a MOU to execute a scalable, sustainable water infrastructure projects on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis in 20 districts. tf. has recruited a Technical Advisory Board (TAB) to support the project and is seeking Canadian donors and sponsors.
Project H2O will deliver safe, potable water to roughly 700,000 people within three years (2019-2021), including ~140,000 children.
We intend to finance roughly 80% of Project H2O at attractive rates from Development Finance Institutions and Export Credit Agencies. We intend to invite philanthropists, corporate sponsors and impact investors to fund the balance. For impact investors, large-scale water projects typically generate the highest return. Our project requires roughly US $10 million in equity from philanthropists, corporate sponsors, and impact investors.
By 2021, our critical water infrastructure will deliver safe, potable water to roughly 700,000 people in Mozambique, including an estimated 140,000 children.