Mobile technology improves access to water in Africa

water jon gos flickrMobile technology can help improve access to water across Africa. (Image source: Jon Gos/Flickr) Mobile technology is helping Africans gain better access to water, according to a study conducted by Oxford University-based Mobile Water for Development project

This project has conducted a number of studies to improve access to water in rural areas, through mobile technology, BBC News reported.

A study carried out by GSMA's Mobile Enabled Community Services Programme revealed that there are 690mn mobile users across Africa as of 2012. With such a high bandwidth among users, mobile solutions are being reckoned as the best way to provide access to basic utilities like water and power.

A third of handpumps in Africa do not work at a given time, added the BBC report. One of the main aspects of the research was a one-year study of 'smart handpumps', which can supposedly transmit their working status via embedded mobile technology. The data collected from these hand pumps reveal usage patterns which alert the concerned water companies when a pump stops working so they can send engineers to the area.

Mobile technology has also helped streamline the water economy in another way, through mobile payment for water. The GSMA study said that there are more than 42.4mn active mobile money accounts in sub-Saharan Africa, with more than 36 out of 47 countries having access to mobile money services.


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