Storing rainwater in tanks is the best way to have a reliable supply of fresh, clean water for dairy cows during the dry season. But the storage tanks are expensive and farmers cannot afford them without a loan. Pondering new ways to provide credit, Suri had a eureka moment: she would test an asset-collateralized loan, using the tank itself as collateral. If a farmer falls behind on payments, the tank is repossessed. While this credit model is common in the US, for car loans and mortgages, it is almost unheard of in Kenya.
“Many more farmers purchased tanks; only one tank out of almost 1,000 was repossessed,” reports Suri. “With a more consistent water supply, cows did not get dehydrated and were healthier. But the effects did not end there. We saw an increase in school enrollment for girls, as they no longer had to spend long days fetching water for the household."