Water ATMs: 100 Times Cheaper and 100% Cleaner

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Plans to install 1200 further water ATMs in the slums of Nairobi were announced recently. The lack of infrastructures in informal settlements in Kenya and around the world leads to devastating health problems for many of their inhabitants. This revolutionary and simple idea has already improved many lives. Find out how large scale implementation could help tackle inequality, public health problems and poverty around the world.

Using a smart card to buy clean drinking  water in Nairobi, Kenya Source: http://www.dispatchlive.co.za/news/win-win-with-water-atms/

Using a smart card to buy clean drinking
water in Nairobi, Kenya
Source: http://www.dispatchlive.co.za/news/win-win-with-water-atms/

Water ATM : the solution to irregular water supply

 

According to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report (2012) 783 million people globally still do not have solid access to clean water. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 300 million people are deprived of this basic human need.

 

The threat to water supply around the world has been steadily growing; this has especially been the case for less economically developed countries (LEDCs) that have struggled over the years to gain access to clean drinking water. In many countries, the lack of available infrastructures has resulted in serious sanitary problems.

100% cleaner and 100 times cheaper

 

Locals in Kenya have experienced difficulties gaining access to water from a reliable source. Vendors have exploited the situation for years, providing unfiltered water at extortionate prices.

 

The current price for twenty litres of water at water ATMs ($0.005) is incredibly low compared to the fifty cents ($0.5) charged by local vendors. Locals can now purchase their water directly from a reliable source and drastically reduce their monthly household expenses.

What Are Water ATMs ?

 

The idea behind water ATMs is simple. You exchange a small sum of money for clean water provided by a machine. The introduction of automated water dispensers has had a massive influence on LEDCs, where access to clean water has been limited. The water ATMs were first introduced in Kenya in 2009 and used solar powered pumps to deliver water to the ATMs throughout the country.

 

Users must first purchase a contactless prepaid smart card which will allow them to purchase clean water directly at the water ATM. Local people finally have access to a reliable and cheap source of filtered clean water. à Video

What does the future hold for Water ATMs ?

 

The positive effects seen in Sub-Saharan Africa have given hope to LEDCs around the world and many countries now want to implement the same concept for dispensing water. A similar project introduced in India has had the additional beneficial effect of empowering girls and women who are traditionally in charge of fetching water.

 

The great success in Kenya will hopefully bring about further investments around the world and improve access to clean water for millions of people.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33223922

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/feb/16/atms-cheap-safe-water-nairobis-slums

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-22/kenyan-water-atm-seen-easing-supply-woes-in-nairobi-s-slums

http://www.borgenmagazine.com/what-are-water-atms/

http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/water/

 

 

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