It has been over two years since the launch of the Social Impact Incentives for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (SIINC for WASH) pilot programme. Supported by Social Impact Incentives, the three pioneering enterprises that joined us on that journey – aQysta, ATEC and Khmer Water Supply Holding (KWSH) – have demonstrated that they could alleviate the tension between commercial and social targets and focus on deepening their impact within the programme’s time frame.
On 22 November 2023, our webinar “Social Impact Incentives (SIINC) for WASH Enterprises: Results and Lessons from the Field” featured the experiences and journeys of aQysta, ATEC, and KWSH on the impact challenges they faced and how they achieved delivering additional impact while growing commercially over the past two years.
aQysta: Irrigation as-a-service
“Participating in SIINC for WASH enabled us to focus on impact – a task that would have been more challenging with only commercial investment.” Pratap Thapa, CEO, and co-founder of aQysta.
aQysta is a water resource management and agriculture enterprise operating in Malawi, India, and Nepal.
For the SIINC metrics, its impact focused on growing the number of farmers in Malawi with access to irrigation as a service and increasing their income.
To do so, aQysta supports farmers with a guaranteed market for harvest, farming input, on-field training, and support in climate-smart farming practices.
Pratap Thapa, CEO and co-founder, shared how aQysta has evolved over the past two years, shifting from selling hydro-powered pump hardware to becoming a more comprehensive service provider. Thanks to SIINC, aQysta has been able to deepen its impact by supporting smallholder farmers who want to enter the commercial food market but lack access to irrigation, and a ‘handholding’ for the transition. Additionally, the impact verification data collected for SIINC have been relevant for investors to collect proof of the impact created through their operations. The measurement of this impact is a strong argument for aQysta’s efficacy in increasing farmers’ incomes.
ATEC: Clean cooking and sustainable waste-to-energy solutions
“SIINC helped us explore how to increase our impact with biodigesters. During the programme, we built many toilet connections to biodigesters. It was a learning experience for us as a team and for customers” Nikolai Schwarz, Country Director (Cambodia) at ATEC.
ATEC is a social enterprise providing sustainable, affordable, and accessible clean cooking solutions. It offers two products: electromagnetic induction stoves and biodigesters that transform cow and pig manure into safe, clean cooking gas and organic fertiliser.
As part of the SIINC programme metrics, ATEC was incentivised to prioritise and target the most vulnerable end-customers in Cambodia, to increase customer satisfaction and to raise the percentage of households connecting their toilets with the biodigester.
Nikolai Schwarz, Country Director in Cambodia, explained how ATEC’s enrolment in the SIINC for WASH programme helped the company focus on additional impact and promoted building toilet connections to biodigesters, which was not a focus point before the intervention. Thanks to SIINC, ATEC could positively increase the share of toilets connected to biodigesters and significantly increase their overall customer satisfaction.
KWSH: Water connections for remote households
“The SIINC process has been a great experience. Roots of Impact and Aqua for All were willing to take the time needed to understand our business and to build appropriate incentive structures that fit our needs and led to the improved impact we were seeking.” William Puyo, General Manager at Khmer Water Supply Holding (KWSH).
Water enterprise KWSH acquires existing, underperforming utilities, improves the water and service quality, invests in increasing water treatment capacity, and expands distribution pipelines to reach more households. By particpating in SIINC, KWSH was incentivised to prioritise the impact of further developing their pipeline networks in Pouk and Chlong and to license new areas where there is a high share of poor households, low existing pipeline coverage and low access to safe drinking water. They maximised their impact while growing their business.
William Puyo, General Manager, shared how the SIINC programme effectively reduced the tension between their commercial and social objectives. Participating in SIINC incentivised KWSH to build 60km of pipeline expansion, which has actively contributed to their overall plans of 600km pipeline expansion across additional sites.
SIINC for WASH impact achievements:
To date, all three enterprises succeeded to generate additional impact as a result of their participation in SIINC for WASH. The table below illustrates positive improvements in all metrics. It is important to note that two metrics are not included here — one due to a delay in accomplishment and the other because unforeseen changes rendered the metric unattainable.
aQysta, ATEC, and KWSH have entered a new impact period within SIINC for WASH. Their SIINC trajectories are concluded at different times: ATEC in December 2023, KWSH in May 2024, and aQysta in June 2025.
We are looking forward to receiving their next impact results and will keep on sharing them with you. We hope to inspire other social enterprises to explore ways to increase their impact.
If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording here.
For questions or any additional information, you can contact us via ILF@aquaforall.org.
Want to know more about Social Impact Incentives in the WASH sector? Find more information here