Text To Change Uganda who develop customized mobile phone-based solutions along with Akvo who build open source internet and mobile software which is used to make international development cooperation and aid activity more effective and transparent, are to launch WASHtxt, a project aimed to provide communities with clean water, hoping to improve hygiene and sanitation in Western Uganda.
According to the Text To Change website, Akvo will be used on smart phones to amp water sources and Text To Change’s SMS platforms will be used to create a feedback system between water users, hand pump mechanics and district water office to ensure water sources functionalities and there is constant provision of clean water to the Ugandan community.
This project applies low-cost, ready existent mobile technology to improve the management of access to water for underserved communities. With this dialogue, the project aims to “engage people on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) issues in their communities through a combination of new (e.g., mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook) and traditional media (e.g., radio and television spots, posters and flyers)”.
Neema Iyer the Programme Co-ordinator at Text To Change said the project will start in Kamwenge and Kyegegwa districts of the country.
“We had a training exercise in Kamwenge on the use of the tools. We will roll out the SMS portion for community feedback on pump functionality in June” said Neema.
The initiative is funded by Grand Challenges Canada, an organisation providing support to innovators in middle-income countries and Canada.
According to UNICEF (2013), 768 million people do not have access to safe, clean drinking water, and 2.5 billion people live without proper sanitation. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands of children every day, and leads to impoverishment and diminished opportunities.