The Mobi-Water pilot in Kibera has been a great opportunity for learnings, especially about the urban informal environment, and also about our technology in general. During the project period, engaged at least 98 water vendors, representing the different types of water points, all including Privately owned, CBOs, Women groups and Youth groups. Having such a robust mix of water points made us appreciate their different operations structure, helping us to identify the easier target group to sell to among other insights. From the 98, half of them were viable for the Mobi-Water installations. However, we ended up losing a few water points to unforeseen circumstances such major highway construction, and the groups internal management issues
From the water points that have been using our Monitoring Solution, we have recorded at least a 30% increase in water level consistency, shortening the period of dry days where these water points used to run completely out of water. After the pilot period, we discussed payment with the water vendors and successfully agreed upon a Pay-As-You-Go Model, to cover the costs of the System, as well as an agreeable rate of $2 per month as service charge.
We have successfully signed a total of 29 contracts with the water points, most of them paying $10 per month to repay the full cost of the system. The repayment rate is at 52% with some of them having delayed payments due to water shortages for weeks on end. For the three who haven’t signed the contracts, they are mostly the CBO groups with huge water shortages as well as governance issues.
While all this Is good, looking forward, we are aiming at growing that number and reaching even more Water vendors that were not reached during the project period, because, Kibera is a very huge place. We have identified areas of improvement that will make on-boarding new vendors easier and faster. This includes, having Local Sales Representatives who are community leaders in the different wards, to scout and identify viable water points for us to work with. We are currently testing this out with 2 Women “sales Agents” in Kibera, who are on a Commission based payment model. Depending on the degree of success of this model, We plan to replicate it on our Horizontal growth plan, which includes other informal settlements within Nairobi.
We also have maintained having a Trial period of about 1-Month for all the new water vendors we will on-board after the pilot period. Because we now know which payment models and amounts work, we have agreed on just One payment model which is the $10 per month. This is because it was the amount that was favoured most by majority of the already existing water points.
We also still plan to work with the Local NGO- Umande Trust as they already have multiple WASH projects even in the other informal settlements we want to move into. We however could not have come this far without the support of VIA water, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Via Water entrepreneurs. We are definitely looking forward to the successes and learning that will come from growing our idea and Model and ultimately using our DATA to inform and change policies around water distribution in the future!
Finally, here's a video from one one of our happy users shot by Shabana during her recent Visit.