Billions of pounds have been spent installing over 800,000 hand pumps in sub Saharan Africa but in every single village there are always broken taps, or hand pumps, or wells. WHY?
Inadequate systems for cost recovery, repairs and maintenance and the inability to obtain spare parts means that in rural Africa, the landscape is scattered with broken hand pumps and taps whilst women and children trudge for miles to collect dirty water.
30,000 deaths occur every week from unsafe water- there’s got to be a better way.
“When the system breaks no one repairs it – the evidence is everywhere to see and the result is catastrophic. Thousands of deaths by diahorrea, typhoid, malaria and Ebola that could be prevented.”
In every village there are broken taps, look at our photos taken from villages in the Gambia and Senegal and find out more about The Hidden Crisis here.
Africa Water Enterprises is a charity with an approach that provides clean and safe drinking water forever.
Our approach is unique because we understand that people in rural West Africa can afford and are willing to pay small amounts for clean water – if there is a guarantee that the water supply will be professionally maintained. We are a not for profit charity – so we provide the capital costs and repair broken water systems but then users pay less than half a pence per 20 litre jerry can to ensure the system is maintained. The system doesn’t break down after a year and everyone is happy.
This is the only way rural
Africa’s “Hidden Crisis” can be tackled.
“I’m convinced that the solution is local enterprise, utilising focused business support and embracing new technologies such as mobile payment and solar powered pumps to provide water in even the remotest villages. In 2015 people shouldn’t be getting water in a bucket whilst they’re monitoring the weather and local fishing reports with their mobile phone”
Africa Water Enterprises uses innovative approaches, exceptional maintenance and an effective major repairs and supply chain program, to ensure water supply is uninterrupted, clean and accessible, always. Eventually we are working towards a goal of reducing the subsidy towards building new water schemes. We encourage independence and self-sufficiency we want to bring about a change of mindset so that payment of a realistic user fee, for a reliable service provided by small-scale entrepreneurs in rural areas becomes the norm.
Huge influxes of aid into poor countries have distorted the incentive system and led to a weakening of any entrepreneurial spirit. 60 years of aid appear to have created a vast network of local NGOs, government bodies, and projects that are entirely dependent on foreign funding, spend all their time carrying out assessmments and planning. The development of a well functioning rural water supply market economy is urgently needed. It needs to be innovative, locally driven and accountable. We are piloting this approach in The Gambia, in a number of villages, with the approval of the Ministry of Water Resources.
“DFID already works with a number of cutting edge SMEs from across the UK. For example, through our partnership with the mobile industry association, the GSMA, we have provided seed funding to Africa Water Enterprises – a company based out of Staffordshire – to develop their business repairing and maintaining water systems in Gambia. They’ve introduced ingenious eWATERpay technology which introduces a contactless, prepaid ‘tag’ at the water tap. To date the technology has reached 20,000 people.”