Yvette Ishimwe is the founder and CEO of Iriba Water Group.
A year before she was bestowed with a Queen’s Young Leaders Award in 2017, Yvette Ishimwe became a Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneur with the goal to provide innovative solutions for household water shortage in Rwanda. In addition, her organization Iriba Water Group, offers water treatment systems to institutions and individuals to help them access safe drinking water.
In her country Rwanda, only 57% of the entire population have access to safe drinking water within 30minutes distance of their homes and almost 80% of illnesses are the result of poor water and sanitation conditions.
The year after being recognized by the Queen of England for her social commitment, Yvonne launched a project Tap and Drink to facilitate and enable a more sustainable practice of water consumption. She used this medium to challenge the act of buying drinking water packaged in non-disposable plastic bottles that have harmful implications to the environment. The innovative solution would promote access to drinking
water in urban areas a reusable water bottle that has a readable barcode, (sic) technology, on a monthly subscription.
At the young age of 22, the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship programme recognized the tremendous proposition of Yvette’s vision, and the significant role it would play in impacting people far beyond her community. Through her social business, she offers innovative solutions for household water shortage in Rwanda and water treatment systems to institutions and individuals to help them access safe drinking water easily. Through her business, she has been able to employ youth and supply water to over 200 per day in her community. To date, Yvette continues to mobilize her team to deliver cans of clean water by bicycle to hundreds of families in her community and her customers continue to grow.
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