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Mobile & Wireless

Weza Tele launches water finder app for Nairobi slum Kibera

Wednesday 11 April 2012 | 11:24 CET | News
Weza Tele, a Kenyan firm that applies mobile technologies, has launched M-Maji to enable residents of Nairobi's largest slum, Kibera, to use a mobile service that could help them locate clean water. Weza Tele built the app in partnership with Stanford University students and the Umande Trust, an organisation in Kibera that seeks to address water and sanitation problems. Weza Tele said it can take many of Kibera's estimated one million residents a minimum of one hour to locate a water vendor, queue up for water and carry it back to their homes. According to IT-Web, vendors will be able to notify the service via an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) interface that they have water to sell, the price they are selling it for, and where they are selling it. The information is then stored on a database, which can be accessed by residents using a USSD interface on their mobile phones. Buyers are able to rate vendors. The M-Maji support team on the ground say they will monitor the data quality and conduct random tests of water quality, and flag water sources that fail tests. Kibera residents also pay more than the average tariff for water in Kenya, according to the World Bank. The Nairobi Water and Sewage Company recommends that the price for a 20-litre jerry can should be KES 1, but Kibera residents can pay KES 2-3. The United Nations Development Project reported in 2006 that Kibera households spent 20 percent of their income on water. Weza Tele intends the service to be free and accessible on even the most basic GSM phones in Kibera.

Categories: Mobile & Wireless
Countries: Kenya
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