Smart hand pumps take water to Kenya
INNOVATIONSBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Jumpstart Africa to revolutionise African supportJumpstart Africa has announced the launch of its Indiegogo campaign to raise needed funds to complete the build of its revolutionary crowdfunding platform, jumpstartafrica.com. Read More
Top 10 tech predictions for 2014Juniper Research has released its predictions on the top trends for the technologies industries for 2014. Read More
Mobile biometrics support Benin vaccine programmeMobile vaccine registry systems in health facilities in Benin have received a boost with a grant of nearly $700,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read More
Students: take part in Go Green in the City challengeSchneider Electric has invited African students to take part in the Go Green in the City global business case challenge, focusing on innovative energy solutions for the city. Read More
New Climate Innovation Centre in EthiopiaEthiopia is set to reap the rewards of a new initiative to help local businesses develop and deploy climate friendly technologies that will create thousands of new green jobs. Read More
ITU achieves breakthrough in audio standardsITU has announced draft Recommendation for next-generation ‘immersive’ and ‘personalised’ audio systems for television and radio. Read More
TV show to highlight Kenyan engineering achievementsThe Institution of Engineers of Kenya will unveil a TV show celebrating various engineering achievements as part of the Kenya@50 celebrations. Read More
Southern Africa to benefit from Malawian innovationMalawian doctors have invented a computer based breathing technology expected to help thousands of children. Read More
Sub-Saharan schools and teachers ‘among the world’s most innovative’Microsoft has recognised the world’s most innovative educators, with schools and teachers from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal and Mauritius being honoured for leading the way in using ICT in teaching and learning. Read More
Last chance to enter Innovation Prize for Africa competitionThe extended deadline for entries in the Innovation Prize for Africa is 30 November. Read More
FEATURED STORYGaming app introduces investors to trading
A new virtual stock market app is equipping would-be investors with the skills they need to trade.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHCorporate cyber security threats of the year
91% of organisations polled suffered a cyber-attack at least once in the past year, says Kaspersky Lab in its security review of 2013.
COMPANY NEWSSamsung, 49M embark on consumer educational drive
Samsung Electronics South Africa has announced a national consumer education campaign in support of the 49M initiative, offering practical actions to save energy in daily life.MTN launches new positioning campaign for enterprise market
MTN Group today unveiled a new Pan-African brand positioning media campaign for MTN Business, its enterprise business unit.