VICTORIA QUAYE IS CREATING SOLUTIONS FOR AFRICA’S WATER CRISIS.

I dream of a world where everyone would have access to safe and clean water, this passion has steered my life’s work. During my early teenage years, my mother and I came up with an idea of how to filter water. When we realized it tasted good and we started receiving positive feedback from people, we decided to start selling it to our neighbors and the community. I believe that is how I fell in love with treating water.

I grew up on the streets of Accra, selling water to make ends meet. I remember the satisfaction I had seeing people drink water to quench their thirst. What thrilled me, was the knowledge that somehow I was contributing to this feeling and more importantly, I was providing them with clean water.

I studied Communication Studies at Ghana Institute of Journalism and later water treatment at the Center for Education and Advanced Training (USA). My interest in clean and portable water has pushed me into the water world. I am now heavily invested in the borehole and water treatment industry. Every day I learn more about the production of mineral water, borehole drilling techniques and water treatment.

I am currently the CEO of NaaviQ Company Limited and I have been working in the water industry for over 15 years, focusing on clean portable water for every individual in Ghana.

 I AM WALKING ON WATER

My company, NaaviQ Company Limited was born basically out of passion but it was a sub-company to a water treatment company until 2015 when we decided to produce water on a daily basis for various institutions in Accra and its environs.

Given the fact that 70% of the human body is made up of water, NaaviQ Company Limited has at the heart of its core values that any single drop of water entering the human body must be purified. So we ensure quality and health in very drop of water we produce.

This makes our after sales service team to always be on the move (regular checks on equipment). Our people are crucial in the delivery of services and solutions to our clients. NaaviQ Company Limited has a staff strength of fifteen (15), consisting of professionals: administrative personnel, operations manager, sales manager, drivers and factory hands.

All of these people are accredited to their various professional bodies and have practical work experience to deliver on the job.

GIVING WATER A TASTE

When I started this company I asked myself, what I could do to improve lives in our society. I remembered the hardships I encountered selling water on the streets of Accra at a very young age, so my team and I decided not to just have a company that makes water but also improves the lives of the people and helps reduce poverty and build capacity. So that is what we do.

We came up with a training system where we went to the rural and urban areas to provide training connected to making water a business . These entrepreneurial skills include:

  • Borehole installations, servicing, and maintenance.

  • Installation and servicing of automatic packaging machine (Koyo).

  • Plumbing works (surface pump installation etc.) and electrical works.

  • Hand pump installation.

  • Proper way cleaning of tanks, up keeping of factory, filters arrangement, interpretation of TDS /PH.

  • Installation and servicing of RO.

  • Laboratory testing.

From this programme, the trainees have gained employment and earn good salaries. While others have gone ahead to start businesses of their own. Wherever they travel to, they can depend on their skills to survive.

Also seeing women and children from these rural communities go through a lot of stress and hustle just to get good water for drinking and for domestic purposes was very devastating so that motivated me to reach out to these villages to help them get wholesome water.  Seeing innocent children as well, not having the proper attire for school also made me restless.

Our company now uses 30% of its profits for training. We also provide basic necessities such as books, chalk, shoes, and pencils for underprivileged schools in rural areas.

LET’S TALK CHALLENGES

On most occasions, I am the only woman in a male-dominated industry. This can be tough and this has been evident through some competitors and clients wanting to have less than ideal relations with me. Mostly they would not want to engage me on professional terms as they would their male counterparts.

Locating villages to provide them with good water can also be hectic, due to red-tape and also the chiefs and community elders insist you give them money too. This can be very frustrating so we render account to the elders for them to know how much we spend on a project.

THE SILVER LINING

I must say my interest in pursuing excellence has earned me national  recognition and  global accolades:

  • The United Nations Youth Ghana Ambassador for clean water and sanitation at UN youth Ghana (SDG6) due to my passion to train (skill) the youth in our society 2017-2018

  •  The Stockholm International Water institute (SIWI) as WATER WOMEN nomination in July 2017.

  • Thabo Mbeki foundation (South Africa) and the Uongozi institute’s (Tanzania) promising 100 young people on the continent to participate in African youth leadership forum with Head of States.

  • The Female Social Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 at the young entrepreneur awards 2018

  • The social entrepreneur of the year for the 40 under 40 awards in Ghana nomination

I have also been featured on media programmes and on television networks such as Tales from the Powder Room on GHONE, Biz trends on tv7 . I was once selected as one of the rising female entrepreneurs in the male dominated industry on Uncovered on Starrs Fm.

I don’t believe in being modest about my achievements, because it is important to celebrate each milestone not only are they accolades and laurels but also an indication of how far I have come in achieving my quest and my dream in providing clean and healthy water. I am happy that institutions and the world at large choose to attest to this fact.

Written by: arianadiaries

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