Sustainable access to clean drinking water
Innovative pre-paid payment system guarantees income for maintenance and quality checks
By setting up new water sources or revitalizing existing ones, ICS realizes access to clean drinking water for rural communities in Kenya and Tanzania. Every water outlet is equipped with a pre-paid payment system. The earnings are used for maintenance, repairs and quality checks. We involve local entrepreneurs, villagers and authorities for the construction, maintenance and sales to secure a sustainable supply. This way ICS contributes to the community’s health and the economic development of the area.
Clean drinking water is a basic necessity of life. Yet the 2016 figures from the World Health Organization indicate that millions of people living in rural East Africa still have no access to safe drinking water. Parasites and bacteria in polluted water can often cause intestinal and other chronic illnesses in adults – and in children can even lead to death.
In this almost dry riverbed villagers of Maganzo in Tanzania collect their drinking water
How does ICS realise sustainably working water points?
- We educate local communities about the importance of clean drinking water;
- We drill for groundwater and build a system of pipes to distribute the water or we recuperate existing but broken systems;
- Locals can bring their jerrycans to fill up and can easily pay for it with a pre-paid card by Susteq;
- Credit on the pre-paid cards can be purchased in local shops;
- The earnings are used for maintenance and quality checks so that the water outlets can supply clean drinking water for the long term.
During 2015 ICS built eleven new water outlets in the communities of Amagoro and Malaba in western Kenya, in cooperation with Water Forever International and Susteq. Using solar power, water is been pumped from a borehole to a water tower. From the tower the water gets distributed to the water points via a system of pipelines. These brand new outlets are able to provide 12,000 inhabitants with clean drinking water.
At the end of 2015, ICS started with research and test drilling in Maai Mahiu (Central Kenya) to ascertain whether it is feasible to install three new water outlets. We work together with Stichting Kenya Kinderen. The research and test drilling have to prove whether the source contains enough water to build a sustainable and profitable water system. If that's the case ICS will implement three new water outlets with three taps each, aiming in the short run to provide 2,000 villagers and with the potential to scale up to a system for 8,000 people.
The Tanzanian government is working on the construction of a long water pipeline from Lake Victoria inland to the town of Kishapu. The pipeline also passes through the villages of Maganzo and Masagala in the north. However, there are no outlets planned here, so the locals can't benefit.
Therefore ICS has started with the construction of subdivisions, unlocking clean drinking water via 25 water outlets for the 12,000 inhabitants of these villages. ICS aims to realize this in 2016.
Sales cover the maintenance and repair costs
Each new or rehabilitated water outlet will have a Susteq meter for pre-paid cards. Locals can pay directly for the exact amount of water they need with smartcards they can credit in participating local shops. Beforehand ICS investigates the willingness of locals to pay for clean drinking water. The secured price differs per location but is in most cases around €0,05 per 20 litres. The profits generated are put into the maintenance of the system, repairs when necessary and the quality control checks.
Besides covering repair costs another requirement for sustainability is the feeling of ownership within the community, raising awareness about the importance of clean drinking water and promoting sales.