Mobile phone water monitoring system
Only one-third of Luanda’s 6.5 million population has access to an adequate water service. The other two-thirds depend on water tankers and, especially in the crowded peri-urban areas, the city’s 1400 public taps.
Although the taps should work 12 hours a day, their water supply from the Public Water Enterprise (EPAL) is often unreliable. Users must buy water from informal vendors at much higher prices and water with the risk of being contaminated. This impacts their income and health, and adds to the daily burden of fetching water, especially for women and girls.
VerAgua (SeeWater) is a monitoring system that sends real-time information about breakdowns and working taps via mobile phones. The mobile phone monitoring technology VerAgua was piloted in Huambo in 2014, and the National Water Directorate is interested in rolling it out nationwide.
Each tap is assigned to a manager who is responsible for collecting a small sum of 25 liters per water container and is equipped with a mobile phone. The manager reports tap problems by choosing the respective code on the phone. The information is collected in a central data base and reported immediately to EPAL, enabling a faster response for repairs and water flows. An app shows users which taps are working in their neighborhood.
The project is located in Cazenga, Cacuaco, Viana, Icolo and Bengo municipalities and Sambizanga district in Luanda, the capital. It targets 170000 people, EPAL and Municipal administrations.