|Monitoring the functionality of rural water sources using mobile phone technology (M4W)
|Year of Publication
|Briefing Note October 2013
|The Hague, The Netherlands
The recent innovations in information technology have greatly improved the speed and accuracy in acquisition of data for improving service delivery in various fields including the WASH sector. In Uganda, the Mobile Phones for improved access to clean water (M4W), an initiative aimed at improving the functionality of rural drinking water sources and improve operations and support mechanisms, has already registered some good results in the pilot districts of Lira, Kabarole, Arua, kasese, Kyenjojo, Amuria, Masind and Katakwi.
The multi stakeholder collaborative initiative being implemented by SNV, IRC/Triple-S, Makerere University, Water Aid and the Ministry of Water and Environment has been running for at least 2 years now with some level of success. Using the M4W system, a water user is able to send a message on a faulty water source and have this water source fixed within a short period of time, depending on the magnitude of the fault assessed.
This briefing looks at the initial impact of the project on functionality, discusses some of the challenges encountered, and emerging issues such as affixing unique water source identifiers, unexpected costs and network connectivity.