The Mobi-Water Pilot in Kibera dubbed “Maji Mkononi” has been operational for close to a year now!! It has gone by so fast, and while working on customizing our solution for this community, building engagement and trying to learn from them through community-led conversations at focus group meetings, our team has had both positive and negative experiences, as expected with implementing any project.
From having various water providers turn us down to losing some components to theft and the occasional demolitions in the area, we are sure to say that we have learned quite a lot about project implementation in an urban poor/ informal community!
So what have we been up-to so far?
Mobi-Water is proud to say that we have done installations in at least 38 water point locations across the four main wards of Kibera, among them being privately owned water points, NGO Led water points, Community Group and also Youth Led Water Points. Our team was very keen on work with reputable water points that served a large number of people and had proper governance in place and a sense of responsibility to facilitate for the security of the Mobi-Water Devices.
After successful installations, the next step was to see how the water point owners and operators used the information they got about their water use. Our team has had numerous conversations on how to improve on this information from adjusting the content and format of the SMS to the Frequency of the SMS received. Through this, we have now been able to achieve the very User-Friendly SMS we now use. Mobi-Water clients receive these SMS as alerts at designated time intervals daily and also as Alarms which are sent in Real-Time once the set ‘LOW’ and “HIGH’ thresholds are met. These SMS usually include information on fluctuations of water levels in the water storage facilities which are mainly plastic tanks ranging from about 4,000 to 10,000 Litres.
They let the water vendors know their current water levels remotely and having this information on Water levels has been useful in various ways from the different vendors we have. From influencing decision making on how much water to reserve for sanitation purposes, and when to do so to improving transparency among the community members as they are able to correlate the revenue received VS the water sold. Some of these even not being anticipated by our team.
So as a company, we are happy to see our solution solving the problem it was meant to solve and then some! So we have really tried to work with the community to improve on our product and create more value for them. 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!!