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Africa: Use ICT to Ensure Sustained Water Supply to Communities

I would strongly propose that as a result, we need to use artificial intelligence for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector mapping. There is a need to identify the impact of climate change variation on functionality of water points.

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More than 900 million people worldwide, are not receiving their drinking-water from improved water sources like ground water according to the UN’s Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking. The report highlights areas of stagnation and suggests the post-2015 challenges that need to be addressed. Specifically sighted is no- functionality, regarded as one of the key reasons for low access.

Most groundwater originates directly from excess rainfall infiltrating the land surface. Thus land use has a major influence on both groundwater quantity, quality and recharge rates. Different land-use practices leave distinctive signatures on the quantity, quality of groundwater recharge and, in some instances, result in low ground waters hence arid conditions, diffused groundwater pollution, irrespective of climatic conditions. Similarly, land-use practices influence groundwater recharge rates, especially under more arid conditions.

The ability to supply water directly from rainfall using rainwater harvesting, from springs and surface water (with or without piped distribution), or from groundwater using hand-dug wells and boreholes, depends fundamentally on the availability of rainfall, surface water or groundwater – in other words on water resources.

In arid and semi-arid areas of South Africa for instance (and indeed parts of Uganda), communities may only have a limited number of wells and boreholes where they can access groundwater. In dry periods, there are long queues and competition for access between different water users -including livestock.

In absence of technical bits that should be monitored such as (low yields, poor water quality, mechanical breakdown), causal factors (poor siting, poor construction, wrong materials, wrong borehole design, lack of supervision and many others) and the underlying conditions of lack of hydro geological understanding, weak procurement processes and lack of technical and financial capacity of communities, all compound threats to water supply and use. It is only through monitoring that well-informed management decisions and operating principles can be used to improve water security and ensure fair allocation of water.

There is need to strengthen sustainable monitoring approaches to better take account of ongoing threats though the use of ICT/ mobile phones, to ensure sustained access to water supply to vulnerable communities.

I would strongly propose that as a result, we need to use artificial intelligence for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector mapping. There is a need to identify the impact of climate change variation on functionality of water points.

Climate change to date stands as an obstacle to increased access to equitable water and sanitation and governments and scientists disregard a considered response only at the peril of the population, especially in Africa. To prove the concept the sector can do this through an ICT project to use mobile phones to update and repair broken down water points.

This will be the rigorous assessment of the causes of failure, and the outputs of the phone will significantly increase the capacity of availability of information to ensure investment in sustainable services that really achieves lasting water based land use success. Monitoring is essential because Water resources (rural water boreholes with hand pumps) and surface water suffer high failure rates. Understanding the causes of these failures is necessary to carry out more effective service provision. Differential water tables, Low yield and poor water quality are symptomatic of human activity and poor land use, poor siting, construction and materials selection. Underlying causes lie in poor practices of implementing agencies, and especially the lack of competent real-time information for various sustainability actions. Luckily, technology is here and must be embraced and utilised to the full.

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Source: allafrica


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