Creativity can overcome even the greatest of challenges. Coupled with a fervent imagination, there is no limit to what the creative mind can achieve, provided it is driven by a noble cause. Yet, for devout idealists Geraldo Vallen and Lorenzo de Rita, inspiring ideas are worthless without action.
While over a billion people across the globe have no access to clean drinking water, another billion in the Western world each flushes 70 liters down the drain on a daily basis. Seeking to put an end to this injustice, the pair established Join the Pipe in September 2008. The Amsterdam-based foundation is the first social community of tap water drinkers, committed to the fair redistribution of potable tap water, particularly in areas with critical need.
In order to achieve its humanitarian mission, Join the Pipe is building the longest water pipe in the world. Durable, beautifully designed water bottles, carafes and tap stations that resemble elements of an actual water pipe are available to the community for purchase. Proceeds and other donations directly finance the installation of pumps, wells and water sanitation projects in Africa and Asia, while the willful consumption of tap water greatly reduces the amount of plastic waste and CO2 emissions. ✌
One of the community’s founders, Geraldo Vallen tells us more:
Join the Pipe is actively committed to the fair redistribution of clean, drinkable tap water, particularly in areas where it is exceptionally scarce. What led you to pursue such a noble cause and start an actual foundation?
“The problem of clean drinking water is not a money issue. It has all to do with bad quality and service. If we keep sending cheap quality products from the Far East to Africa, water will never be available. For instance 80% of all deep water hand pumps are out of order due to lack of quality and service.”
In 2010, Join the Pipe received the Dutch Design Award for sustainability. How important is good design to your organization and the achievement of its goals?
“Good design and good quality are essential for us to achieve our goals. Most water products used in Africa were designed before the war. It is time to bring better quality to the hardcore poor. Poor products breaking down and the costs of spare parts makes the poor only poorer in developing countries.”
What do you find most rewarding in starting a foundation?
“The foundation is not the reward. Finding the best way in solving the problem is rewarding. Stepping out of the “old NGO box” is the way. Combining new inventions is the way out for the bottom of the pyramid.”
What is next for Join the Pipe?
“A solar powered tap station with a service and quality guaranty. During the day the taps are used for household purposes and in the evening the water will be used to irrigate crops.”
For more information on Join the Pipe, Indie BRANDS and other brands featured in the Indie BRANDS blog, visit the websites listed below:
The Official Launch of Indie BRANDS (book) was featured in the phillipqgangan website and can be viewed here: Indie BRANDS, the Launch
The 2nd edition of the Indie BRANDS Event (The Denim Edition) can be viewed here: Indie BRANDS | The Denim Edition