“If you have air, you can have drinking water.”
This is the slogan of Beth Wanjiku Koigi, a 28-year-old Kenyan entrepreneur. Beth Koigi is the CEO and founder of Majik Water, which harvests drinking water from the air for off-grid communities.
The idea is to create a new source of affordable, clean drinking water for water-scarce communities, given UN projections that 1.8bn people will be living in water scarcity by 2025.
Koigi has always been focused on solving issues facing the local community. She has also suffered from buying dirty, contaminated water while at university so this motivated her to create her own water filter and launched a business, selling over 5,000 filters in Kenya over the past 5 years.
However she is increasingly coming across areas of Kenya where there’s regularly no water available as rivers run dry and the water table drops which turned her attention to the air. The first prototype was operated at NASA Ames in Mountain View California, after Koigi was accepted to the Global solutions program in the Silicon Valley. The tech works by pulling in hot air through a solar-powered intake fan. Desiccant material absorbs water droplets from moisture in the air. This is then exposed to heat, releasing moisture which is condensed into water through a condensing coil, and water passes through an activated carbon filter and other water filtration. The water then collects in anti-microbial storage tanks, and is accessed through a gravity-fed tap which doesn’t require a motor.
Koigi earned a Bachelor of Science in Community Development, Project Planning and Management from Chuka University, Kenya in 2013, and a Masters in Project Planning and Management from the University of Nairobi in 2017.
Following her bachelor’s degree, she was a founder of Aqua Clean Initiative, founded in 2013. Koigi was awarded the Young Water Fellowship in September, 2018, and has been a current associate fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Nordic Baltic Hub since and a Grant Advisor for The Pollination Project.