MobiTech Technician, Mike, installing a water sensor on a water Tank.
The Mobi-Water Pilot in Kibera dubbed “Maji Mkononi” has been operational for close to a year now!! It has gone by so fast, having to make changes to our innovation to suit the community, lots of engagements with water point operators and learning from them through community-led conversations at focus group meetings. As expected, we've had our fair share of both positive and negative experiences, which we hope to share over the next series of blogs.
So what have we been up-to so far?
As part of 'Maji Mkononi's model, we installed real-time water monitoring sensors in local water point tanks/reservoirs which allowed the operators to monitor their available stored water in their tanks and alerts them when water levels exceed their thresholds on their mobile phone. Currently, we are working with 38 water points, across the 4 different wards in the informal settlement, among them being privately owned water points, NGO Led water points, Community Group and also Youth Led Water Points. Unfortunately, we lost some water points along the way especially when a 4-lane highway was built cutting across the settlement and leading to 10 water points being demolished to pave for the road.
Over the past months, we've seen significant change in water management by the operators, especially how they react when they receive alarms informing them that their water levels are low. We've seen increased dependency in our system which has led to improved water consistency at the water points and in some cases, alerts from our system have been used by the water point owners to improve revenue accountability. In some water points we've seen up to 30% increased water consistency and faster recharge of the tanks when they run out of water. However, to achieve this, we've had to make various changes to our initial solution and tested various iterations of our systems with the water points operators, working hand-in-hand to build a customer-centric solution that addresses their needs.
At the moment, we are having discussions with the water point operators on repayment plans for the system which are set to begin in January, I'm glad to say it's going on well. We came up with 3 structured pricing models which we are currently discussing with the water point owners. Over the next couple of blogs, we'll share our experiences, challenges, achievements and changes we've had to make on our innovation. Stay Tuned!!