Smart hand pumps take water to Kenya
INNOVATIONS| June 11, 2012, 8:27 p.m.
Oxford University researchers will soon start a pilot project in Kenya, in which low-cost data transmitters will help people in rural areas ensure regular access to clean drinking water.
The researchers report that hand pumps provide the main source of drinking water for rural communities in many areas of Africa, but around one-third of them do not work at any one time. It can take up to a month or more before they are fixed, leaving communities without easy access to clean water.
In August, the Oxford University researchers will start a pilot project in Kenya to install new, low-cost data transmitters that work in a similar way to mobile phones.
These Smart Hand Pumps will automatically send a text message to the district and national water managers, so they know when and where there is a problem, as well as when the problem has been fixed.
Researcher Patrick Thomson said: “The technology is simple and robust. The transmitter is no bigger than a mobile phone and fits inside the hand pump. It automatically registers the movement of the handle of the pump and from this calculates the amount of water extracted from the pump.
An automatic text about the water usage at each pump is sent at regular intervals to water supply managers, who then immediately know when and where a pump needs fixing. This should enable problems to be addressed more quickly and transparently than they are at the moment, so people don’t have to go without safe water – with all the resulting health problems that can cause.”
The researchers will start to install the technology in 70 village hand pumps across the Kyuso District of Kenya, in a pilot trial funded by the UK Department of International Development. Kyuso commonly experiences droughts and will be the first place in the world to use the new Smart Hand Pumps, a mobile technology that should improve the functionality of its hand pumps.
Lack of reliable access to clean water is an enduring problem in rural Africa. Yet mobile technology in Africa is booming: the number of people within range of a mobile signal has already overtaken the number with an improved water supply and, this year, the number of people with a mobile subscription will pass the same benchmark.
MORE INNOVATIONS NEWS
10 nominees announced for AIF’s Innovation Prize for Africa 2016The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has announced the top 10 nominees for its landmark programme, the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). Read More
UN, XPRIZE seek innovation in learning technologiesThe XPRIZE Foundation with the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have announced a new partnership for the US$15 Million Global Learning XPRIZE. Read More
ITU Telecom World Awards to recognise ICT innovatorsInnovative ICT solutions with positive social impact will be recognised and rewarded at ITU Telecom World 2016, the leading UN global technology event taking place this year in Bangkok, Thailand. Read More
WAITRO agitates for knowledge transfer into solutionsThe World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organisations (WAITRO) and African Research Organisations are meeting in Gaborone to chart a way forward that will see a transfer of technological knowledge into solutions for the improvement of lives. Read More
African Innovators stun 2016 Global Innovation CompetitionAt the recent Global Innovation Competition awards staged in Accra, five young African innovators from Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria and Mozambique were awarded with various cash prizes to help them to develop and implement their innovative idea to benefit their respective communities. Read More
Hospitium brings 7D cinema to BotswanaHospitium, a 100 percent youth owned entertainment company, is changing Botswana’s cinema landscape by ushering in the 7D cinema experience. Read More
BIH Science, Technology Park opening in 2016The Innovation Hub conceived Science and Technology Park, which is being constructed on the fringes of the Botswana Diamond Park and Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, is expected to be ready for use during the current year. Read More
Nigerian students in electric car crowdfunding driveA group of Mechanical Engineering students from the University of Lagos has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support development of a zero-emission automobile built to reduce global warming. Read More
Government upbeat about hosting the IPA awardsBotswana is celebrating 50 years of independence in September this year and the pronouncement that the country is going to host the the 5th Innovation Prize for Africa event in Gaborone in the same year is a welcome development. Read More
Innovation Prize for Africa 2016 comes to BotswanaBotswana has won the bid to host the fifth annual Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). IPA is a landmark programme of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), whose purpose is to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalyzing the innovation spirit in Africa. Read More
FEATURED STORYGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early
Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSEnhancing your security posture to fight new ransomware threats
Petya ransomware is proving to be one of the top cybersecurity stories of 2016.Arbor stops malware in its tracks
There is always a substantial amount of banking trojan activity taking place, however, recent developments have intensified the threat landscape.