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BWT and eWaterPay Using Smart Pre-Payment Meters to Guarantee Sustainability in Jarreng, The Gambia

eWaterPay’s goal is to bring universal and equitable access to safe water for all in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. Using eWaterPay meters, consumers have access to 24/7 clean water, revenue is collected and tracked using each users’ personal cloud wallet, and faults are automatically sent as SMS messages to local Operations and Maintenance teams. Subsequently, water operators can carry out sustainable maintenance of the entire water supply system. Local communities benefit from improved health, higher female attendance at school, less time spent collecting and queuing for water and professional job creation.

 

eWaterPay, together with the support of BWT, has enabled 6,480 people to have access to safe water within the rural village of Jarreng in The Gambia, West Africa. eWaterPay has installed 28 digital water meters onto community water points in Jarreng, that integrate Internet of Things, mobile money and NFC technology in one simple to use tap.

 

“Before eWater I had to go to a well that was full of worms. eWater is making such a difference. I never have to queue for water anymore. I can trust what I drink now is not going to make me sick and water is there for me anytime, even at midnight.” – Ida Minteh, Student

Empirical Evidence of Impact

Data for 1st October 2018 to 30th April 2019

Water dispensed from eWaterPay meters is tracked every second of every day. It has continued to rise with a total disbursement of 9,929,382 litres of water during October 2018 to April 2019. Approximately, an average of 7.8 litres of water was collected per person per day at a cost of US $0.0036 per person.

 

Graph of litres of water dispensed between October 1st 2018 and April 30th 2019

 

Trackable revenue for operations and maintenance of eWaterPay meters has resulted in Jarreng being one of the most sustainable water systems in The Gambia, consistently averaging a 95% availability with every litre purchased by users transparently tracked on the eWaterCare dashboard for water operators, Water Ministries and donors to observe.

 

Graph of Availability and Revenue collected between October 1st 2018 and April 30th 2019

“Children would go and fetch water and this meant that sometimes they would miss class. Many times children complained to me of a stomach ache, but we don’t hear about that any more. The project has really made a big difference to our lives.” – Elihuruma Mjemah, Headteacher

 

Before eWaterPay meters were installed in Jarreng, water consumers would be reliant on tap attendants available for only a few hours a day, (if they turned up at all), or had to use unsafe alternative water sources.

Cash collected by tap attendants covered less than 30% of the maintenance costs and Jarreng water system was falling into disrepair. Since eWaterPay meters have been installed USD $5,007 has been collected and used for O&M, with a surplus transferred to a Major Repair Fund to cover the cost of a more expensive maintenance requirement in the future. Daily usage has increased and water is collected 24/7, even at midnight this enables the solar powered pumping system to work more efficiently.