Mobile phones to monitor Malawi water
MOBILE| Jan. 21, 2012, 6:32 p.m.
By Gregory Gondwe, Lilongwe, Malawi
Malawi has started new water-monitoring technology using mobile phones, which has been pioneered by an international NGO based in Blantyre called ‘Water for People’. The new form of monitoring technology is called Field Level Operation Watch (FLOW).
FLOW utilises cutting edge technology including Android cell phone technology and Google Earth software, to collect and share information about water supply points.
Water for People’s Malawi’s Country Director Kate Harawa said the new technology provides anyone on the internet with access to crucial data for projects supported by her institution or other organisations.
She observed that monitoring field progress has been one major challenge experienced in the water and sanitation sector for quite some time and the new technology is the institution’s response to this.
“Because of inadequate monitoring, government and other players in the sector are prone to either duplicating efforts or reporting inaccurate information as regards the real water and sanitation situation that Malawians are facing; as such scarce resources are either wasted or misdirected,” she said.
FLOW is a dynamic new baseline and monitoring tool that allows the user to get a clear view of what water sources are working, what borehole/water point is on the verge of disrepair, and what’s broken.
With this technology, the institution says the information is relatively easy to gather, share and understand so that better solutions can be developed for lasting impact.
“As a result, resources will be directed to where they are in most need and people will be better served,” she said.
“We cannot just say our work is sustainable. We must prove it. We believe we can only say our work is sustainable if we demonstrate that water is flowing and people are using toilets and washing hands in all program areas we work in, all the time. It is not truly transparent if we cherry-pick stories and only portray small samples of data,” explained Harawa.
She said FLOW is their first stages of making themselves accountable and transparent to their development partners and the communities they serve.
The technology has already been tested in 861 households and 36 primary schools in the Southern border district of Chikhwawa.
FLOW technology’s key indicators include establishing whether or not a water point or sanitation solution is being used and functioning, the number of people who have access to water and sanitation in an area and whether or not the quantity and quality of water meeting the needs of the community.
Through the technology Harawa says they also able to establish whether or not if sufficient tariffs being collected would ensure ongoing operation, maintenance, repair and eventual replacement.
“Through the simple statistical presentation of interviewee responses produced by FLOW, not only will Water for People use the data to make better programming decisions, but governments, partners, donors and the public can easily monitor projects as well,” declared Harawa.
MORE MOBILE NEWS
Tigo explores options to give customers a greater choice for 4G services in GhanaFollowing her recent visit to Ghana, Cynthia Gordon, the CEO of Millicom Africa, has emphasized the remarkable growth opportunities in data and Tigo’s commitment to giving customers access to superior high speed internet services. Read More
Blogger Kamota Mayondi takes Huawei Y6 Pro for a spinHuawei has set its latest smartphone, the Y6 Pro on a photographic journey across the capital city to capture the energy of young residents in Lusaka. Read More
Huawei in #ThisIsBotswana CampaignHuawei has partnered with some of Botswana’s leading influencers under the #ThisIsBotswana social campaign that meshes the powerful world of social media with high quality smartphone photography. Read More
Airtel Ghana launches ‘Flex Awesome You’ talent huntAirtel has announced the launch of an exciting talent search and competition dubbed “Flex Awesome You” to unearth the next big star in Ghana at a press soiree at its Head Office in Accra. Read More
Tigo staff educate customers on new loyalty promotionThe management and staff of telecom company, Tigo, on Friday took time out to interact with customers about ‘Wo suro aaa wondi’. Read More
Tigo Pesa Customers Pocket Tshs. 5.6b in Ninth Quarterly Profit ShareTigo Tanzania has announced another quarterly payment of Tshs 5.6 billion (US$ 2,570,120) to Tigo Pesa users, the ninth time in a row that the telecom is distributing profit to its mobile financial services users. Read More
Visafone test-runs 4G LTE internet servicesVisafone has started the test-run of its Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) internet technology service for smart phone users in Nigeria. Read More
Glo sustains lead in new internet subscribersGlobacom, Nigeria's data grandmasters, has again bested other operators to the top position in the segment of acquisition of new internet subscribers in the month of June. Read More
Glo offers new subscribers N42,000 value for N5,000 rechargeThe grandmasters of data, Globacom, has launched ‘Glo Jollific8,” a plan designed to give new prepaid customers eight times more value on every recharge made on its platform. Read More
African mobile subscriber numbers pass half a billionMore than half a billion people across Africa are now subscribed to mobile services as the continent continues to migrate rapidly to mobile broadband networks, reveals a new GSMA study. Read More
FEATURED STORYFinancial services sees AI as both opportunity and threat
Banking is already a key area where technology is having an impact throughout Africa, and a new survey assesses the impact artificial intelligence will have on this sector.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAccess and Use of ICT stats released
Statistics Botswana has released the first results of the 2014 Information and Communication Technology Household Survey.
COMPANY NEWSTigo explores options to give customers a greater choice for 4G services in Ghana
Following her recent visit to Ghana, Cynthia Gordon, the CEO of Millicom Africa, has emphasized the remarkable growth opportunities in data and Tigo’s commitment to giving customers ...