Target: Spencer Ochieng, General Manager of Grundfos Lifelink
Goal: Support water technology company that provides Kenyans with sustainable, clean water
A new mobile technology is making clean water more accessible to individuals across Kenya. The Lifelink project, created by the organization Grundfos Lifelink, uses a solar-powered pump and a pay-per-use system powered by mobile phone signals to provide this essential resource. With over 13 million Kenyans collecting their water from dirty rivers, lakes, and ponds, this technology has the power to revolutionize lives. Thank Grundfos General Manager Spencer Ochieng for his company’s important work.
One of the best aspects of this system is its simplicity. Solar powered pumps draw water from protected wells up to 250 meters underground. The water is then stored in an elevated tank which then supplies this essential resource to secure distributing kiosks. Those Kenyans who wish to take advantage of the system need only load money into their M-Pesa accounts—a mobile money management system used by over 70% of Kenyan adults—through a simple text message. With the prepaid balance loaded onto their Lifelink devices, customers then debit their accounts by simply waving the device at the kiosk’s Lifelink sensor, and 20 liters of pure water flows out of the system.
Another vital aspect of the project is sustainability. All too often across the African continent, well-intentioned pure water projects break down as soon as funding stops. In fact, nearly half of such projects—deep wells, pumps, or boreholes installed by development organizations—fail after two years because of broken equipment that no one is willing to pay to fix. In addition, local ‘water committees’ that form to manage these types of systems often fall victim to corruption: funds that customers pay to support pure water projects vanish or are misappropriated. While the Grundfos Lifelink system does not come cheap, it does offer a sustainable solution, keeping funds in a virtual system and out of the hands of corrupt officials so that even the poorest customers will be able to afford it.
Thank Grundfos Lifelink and Spencer Ochieng for their important work.
Dear Mr. Ochieng,
Thank you for the important work you and your company do on behalf of the people of Kenya. As water becomes more and more an endangered resource, your efforts to provide the poorest of the poor with sustainable water systems are outstanding.
All too often, development organizations install water projects that fail after two years, falling victim to corruption, mismanagement, and disrepair. By ensuring that Grundfos Lifelink systems charge each customer equally and maintain funds in a virtual space, there is greater hope that Kenyans will be able to depend on Lifelink projects well into the future.
I encourage you and your organization to continue developing ways in which to cut costs and reach more communities in need. And I thank you on behalf of the communities whose lives you have already changed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Oxfam East Africa via Flickr