Maji Jibu

Affordable, quality drinking water

Maji Jibu equips African entrepreneurs to create affordable access to drinking water, in the process keeping plastic in circulation for as long as possible. Jibu offers small entrepreneurs the opportunity to purchase franchises with them. Water production units are paid for through a royalty per litre fee. They support the businesses with both set up and continuous training.

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Maji Jibu

Circular Strategy

Collaborate to create joint value, Prioritise regenerative resources, Rethink the business model

Sustainable Development Goals

6Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

8Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

12Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

"We have produced less than three or four truckloads of plastic waste to date. Plastic companies want to partner with us for recycling, but we just don’t have enough waste.”-Tayeb Noorbhai

The Opportunity

About 4 million people in Tanzania do not have access to safe water, and many government- and donor-sponsored programmes that have sought to provide access to water have met with failure. But with a growing population and an expanding middle class, there are opportunities to provide water according to a low cost, decentralised model, which also minimises material use.

The Story

Tayeb Noorbhai, founder of Jibu in Tanzania and a fourth generation Tanzanian, started his career by studying international development. Before starting Jibu Tanzania, he worked in a number of development programmes, and became increasingly frustrated at their mixed long-term impact. He decided to change the narrative by looking for private sector solutions to hard problems.

This led him to start business initiatives in cookstoves, maternal health, primary education and, ultimately, water.

The Solution

Jibu Tanzania provides safe, affordable and accessible drinking water through a decentralised franchise model. Tayeb Noorbhai saw franchisees that were operating successfully in Rwanda and Uganda and wanted to create a Tanzanianowned franchise, so that in the long run the business could become the backbone of a development distribution vehicle that is both localised and profitable. Jibu Global, the licensing partner of Jibu Tanzania, operates across seven African countries and has launched 122 franchises.

Jibu offers small entrepreneurs the opportunity to purchase franchises with them. Water production units are paid for through a royalty per litre fee. They support the businesses with both set up and continuous training.

From a circular perspective, the idea is to use less plastic, and keep it in circulation for longer through refilling. Jibu Tanzania uses sturdy Polycarbonate 20 litre bottles that have a higher grammage and last for over 200 to 400 refill uses. The bottles are inspected and sanitised before reuse. Any damaged bottles are delivered to recycling companies. There are some interesting advantages to this model, not least the substitution effect. In supplying clean water in reusable containers, Jibu are reducing the labour intensity and time spent in collecting and purifying water through boiling (typically done by women) and the consumption of single-use plastic bottled water.

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