By Abbie Digel

HabiHut was born from change.

The company began in 2010, when a group of developers switched their focus to building sustainable, affordable housing shelters. Located in Bozeman, HabiHut offers cost effective, lightweight and easy to assemble modular shelters. They’re installed mostly in the developing world, in communities where natural resources are limited, and where there is a need for durable shelter.

Since the company’s inception, it has pushed forward social entrepreneurship by creating solutions for developing countries and disaster-stricken areas.

A recent partnership with General Electric has enabled HabiHut to establish a water kiosk solution that utilizes GE’s ZeeWeed water filtration and storage system. Entrepreneurs can purchase the water kiosk and in turn offer clean and safe water to their communities, while earning vital income and building economic sustainability. The kiosks are being installed this summer in Haiti, Afghanistan, the Dominican Republic and Nairobi, Kenya.

The HabiHut team travelled to Kenya in May to document the installation and unveiling of a solar water kiosk in that country.

“It’s the biggest thing we’ve got going right now,” said Buz Weas, HabiHut president. The solar model of the kiosk utilizes thin film PV solar technology from PrimeStarSolar Inc., which is a low-cost-per-watt solution that fills energy needs like cell phone charging.

The solar water kiosk creates a solution at the intersection of need for people, Weas says. He explained that in Nairobi, women are most affected by the shortage of water, while at the same time are responsible for supplying water and energy needs for their families and communities. The kiosks solve multiple issues at once by providing clean water and energy.

“The vision is that we will have 1,000 of these systems [installed] that will improve the distribution of water,” Weas said.

Through projects and partnerships like these, HabiHut aims to continue growing and adapting to the needs of developing countries by providing economically sustainable solutions.