VIA Water - Aqua for All

Via Water Programme

The VIA Water programme was established in 2014 with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

This unique incubation programme looked for advancing innovative ideas and solutions to solve water and sanitation problems in seven  African countries: Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Sudan.  

Phase I of the VIA Water programme supported early stage water and sanitation innovations (ideas, solutions or start-ups) that provided tailor-made solutions tthe needs of their communitiesThese initiatives were selected to participate in the programme, based on their innovativeness and scaling potential 

Innovators and entrepreneurs were invited to submit teaser proposals. The Aqua for All team then assessed the teasers and asked shortlisted applicants to send full proposals.  The proposals were reviewed by subject-matter experts from the Aqua for All network. Successful applicants received a contract for support, which included coaching, training, access to Aqua for All’s networks and partnerships, and funds.  

In five years, the programme received 525 teasers and supported 62 innovative ideas, from which 33 became start-ups.   

Until July 2019, VIA Water was implemented by Aqua for All as a stand-alone programme.   

At the moment, VIA Water has been fully integrated into Aqua for All to maximise synergy and overall impact.

The lessons learned and the experience from VIA Water Phase I are valuable contributions to the development of a more sustainable, innovative and inclusive water and sanitation economy in Africa and Asia  

Below you can find the links to research articles on the website of Elsevier Science Direct, with insights into VIA Water projects:

  1. Valorisation by innovation in the water sector in Africa. Authors: D. Bouman, Titia Wouters, Shabana Abbas, Vi Nguyen
  2. Fostering water innovation in Africa through virtual incubation: insights from the Dutch VIA Water programme. Authors: Silas Mvulirwenande and Uta Wehn
  3. Opening the innovation incubation black box: a process perspective. Authors: Silas Mvulirwenande and Uta When
  4. Dynamics of water innovation in African cities: insights from Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique. Authors: Silas Mvulirwenande and Uta When
  5. Kolochilikélan: A digital opportunity for Malian emptying operators to boost their business. Authors: Fabrizio de Georgio Ferrari Trecate, Céline Jacmain and Harald van der Hoek (Join for Water/Protos)
  6. Promotion of low flush toilets in urban Mozambique from innovation idea to social enterprise. Authors: Annemarieke J. Mooijman, Yvette E. van Dok, Manuel Lélio A. Gungulo and Björn Brandberg
  7. Developing Mobile Water Operator Technology for Africa. Authors: Ante Zorić and Hajo Heusinkveld

For more information on the track record of all VIA Water projects from 2014 to 2019, please visit: