Smart hand pumps take water to Kenya

INNOVATIONS

|
Image: By Oxford University
Smart hand pumps take water to Kenya

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.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE INNOVATIONS NEWS

World Panel Zambia launches solar chargers

World Panel Zambia Ltd has launched its durable World Panel solar panels, which charge mobile phones as fast as a wall plug does.  Read More

Ghanaian partnership to battle Cholera, Ebola through tech

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has partnered with mPedigree Network and PopOut to launch the PREVENT initiative, which looks to employ technology to crack down on fake and counterfeit medicines. Read More

BMW electric car to be showcased at Schneider Electric Xperience Efficiency event

Schneider Electricwill be showcasing the BMW i3 electric vehicle at its prestigious Xperience Efficiency event in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26-27 August 2014.  Read More

Rwandan incubator receives over 100 applications

Rwandan tech incubator think has received over 100 applications from nine countries, and is encouraging more ahead of the August 15 deadline. Read More

Cognisant Computing one of the strongest forces in consumer IT

Cognisant computing — the next phase of the personal cloud movement — will become one of the strongest forces in consumer-focused IT, according to Gartner. Read More

Botswana approves Innovation Fund

Botswana's parliament has approved a National Innovation Fund which will provide seed and early stage funding for technology based start-ups and ventures as well as established companies with viable innovation concepts. Read More

MTN unveils another Africa first cooling system

MTN has reaffirmed its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by unveiling Africa’s first Concentrating Solar Cooling System that will power its energy-hungry data centres. Read More

Big firms challenged on talent development

Kenyan businesses have been urged to use their expertise and set aside resources to train and equip young people to fit in the changing job market.  Read More

Tracking chips to tame cattle rustling

Pastoralists are set to benefit from a noble mode of taming cattle rustling in Kenya, with the introduction of an innovative electronic tracking chip to keep tabs on cattle. Read More

Microsoft 4Afrika IP Hub to monetise innovation in Africa

Microsoft has unveiled an online intellectual property (IP) portal called the Microsoft 4Afrika IP Hub, in an effort to create an IP protection culture in Africa.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

Safaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up Safaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up

Equity bank's entry to the mobile banking and telephony industry is still hanging in the balance with London-based global association of mobile operators (GSMA) calling for independent audit. 

IN DEPTH

Kenya rolls out e-extension to improve agricultureKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture

In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.