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Business Profile: HabiHut

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Empowering women in Kenya

Big Sky Weekly Staff Writer

Nairobi, Kenya – A team behind the Bozeman-based business HabiHut is traveling to Nairobi, Kenya to install cost effective, sustainable modular shelters from May 6 – 16.

HabiHut calls its new Water Kiosk solution the “key to enhancing the lives of women.” The structures utilize an advanced, re-engineered General Electric ZeeWeed water filtration and storage system, including water backpacks designed by GREIF, a world leader in industrial packaging.

The HabiHut prototype also utilizes thin film PV solar technology created by GE PrimeStar Solar Inc., offering a low-cost-per-watt solution to energy needs in the developing world and natural disaster zones.

“The relationship between energy and water is beginning to get more attention in the world,” said Buz Weas, president of HabiHut. “Cutting edge technologies in both of these areas are at the nexus of truly affecting the world’s clean water supply, especially for those in need.”

With HabiHut’s Water Kiosk, entrepreneurs who purchase a water kiosk can then offer clean and safe water to their communities while earning income.

Research shows women in developing regions are most often responsible for supplying water and energy needs for their families and communities. But doing so often places women in life threatening danger and prevents access to education.
Investing in women with green business models helps grow strong economic and social development, the company says.

With this in mind, the HabiHut Water Kiosk Solution meets many of the developing world’s needs for clean and safe water, joining the notion that women are increasingly becoming agents for economic, social and environmental advancement.

HabiHut’s team includes several members of female-owned companies in the fields of energy, water, construction, multi-national firm restructuring. The team is led by HabiHut project manager Jim Ogburn, and Kenyan architect and social activist Ronald Omyonga. International consultant Tess Mateo, managing director of CxCATALYSTS, is coordinating HabiHut’s efforts to reach a greater world audience is facilitating a partnership with The International Labor Organization’s Growth Oriented Women Entrepreneurs program.

“By leveraging women, who reinvest more of their earnings into their families and communities, this new collaborative model for emerging economies will accelerate development,” Mateo said.

Telly award-winning videographers Brian Niles and Chris Davis of The Outlaw Partners, a Big Sky based media firm, and Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist Julia Yarbough of Julia Yarbough Media Group, based in Miami will also be present in Nairobi to document the installation of the kiosk.

“I am excited to bring greater visibility to HabiHut and the life-changing opportunities it brings to the women of Nairobi,” Yarbough said.

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