15 May 2017

Gambia: How Use of IOT Is Helping in the Provision of Clean Water in Gambia

According to statistics from NGO, The Water Project, 783 million people worldwide lack access to clean water.

In partnership with eWater, a company that uses mobile technology for sustainable water maintenance, Eseye provided IoT technology for the provision of clean water in Gambia with roll-out plans in the pipeline for other African countries.

While water systems are continuously installed in counties that need it most, it is estimated that around 65 percent break because of a lack of sustainable maintenance. However, by combining Mobile money, Internet of Things (IoT), and Near Field Communication (NFC), the provision and management of clean, low-cost water, which is accessible 24/7 can be maintained more efficiently.

"The communal tap system allows users to pay for water at the point of use, and ensure that maintenance is provided long after installation," explains Eseye SADC regional head, Jeremy Potgieter. eWater required a method of collecting functionality information from the taps, to ensure repairs could be made as quickly as possible.

"They needed confirmation that 100 percent of the usage and performance data would be communicated to the AWS Cloud servers in a timely manner. More important still was that consumers could rest assured that taps would be able to provide them with clean fresh water whenever they needed it," he adds.

These needs were met with Eseye's highly secure and resilient cellular data services through its AnyNet Secure™ Subscriber Identity Module (SIMs). In addition, each SIM features unique zero-touch, remote device provisioning with the ability to roam across more than 440 worldwide mobile networks. "By customising our Hera 100 Communication node, and working closely with eWater's engineering team, Eseye was able to get trial units in the field within weeks. Water flows that had previously only been visible after site visits through collected historic data can now be viewed in real time," notes Potgieter.

The first implementation of the innovative eWater, Eseye and the AWS Cloud IoT solution means that 13,000 people currently have access to clean water by ensuring maintenance companies receive up-to-date information on the state of the taps, so repairs can be carried out promptly. This figure is set to increase to up to 10 million people over the next five years through the instillation of 100,000 more taps as operations expand in Gambia and commence in Tanzania.

"Owing to the remote location of eWater's taps, they require reliable wireless communication from wherever that may be, without needing any additional infrastructure to be installed and maintained. Now all transaction data can be collated quickly, which is crucial in the visibility of cash flow and ensures payment can be made to maintenance companies to repair the taps," says Potgieter.

"Our partnership with eWater demonstrates again how IoT, when harnessed to highly innovative projects, is a power for good. In this instance, cellular security and data features enable the essential service and crucially, also open investment routes that lead to more, new and better opportunities for health and wellbeing. eWater's exceptional work impacts on the most remote and disadvantaged communities. We are thrilled to see IoT changing lives and once again astonished at the power of the product," he concludes.


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