Whatever the means (out of the varied means of getting water) employed in providing clean water and better sanitation in the African countries, the most important thing is education in ensuring the sustainability and maintenance of the structure.
We propose an online educational community using mobile phones. This is imperative as a result of the population of mobile phones in the world, outnumbering the world’s population coupled with the positive and landmark achievements realized already in the use of mobile phones as a means of trade, agricultural market, payment of bills and what have you. We propose the use of a mobile app platform that works on both high end (smart phones) and low-end mobile phones.
First there is need for physical installations in each community (especially in the rural areas as rural people tend to have higher believe in what they see or where they can easily go to and need to always see someone they can talk to) which will serve as information desk and help desk for each particular community.
Then there is need for an initial public seminar (a three day seminar should be enough for each community) for everybody or at least a representative of each household. This is where the community members are registered with their mobile phone numbers and can download the mobile app, depending on their phone model. The community is further divided into groups for record purpose, maintenance task allocation purpose and for effective spread of information through words of mouth. Individuals can always go back to the physical installations later for any inquiry or any other help.
Sanitation tips, general hygiene tips and tips on using the water and sanitation resources sustainably would then be sent to their mobile phones through SMS and voice messages (this does not require internet service). Also important updates and news from around the world and those pertaining to the local neighbouring communities can be received on their mobile phones.
The program structures a way to make community members participate in construction and maintenance of the source of water through the groups. This way, the individuals feel a sense of responsibility towards protecting and using the resources sustainably. The app also involves a database that keeps the record of past achievement, analysis of future trend and possible future effects.
Though clean water is very important for the health and sustainability of individuals. Rural dwellers are not willing to pay so they prefer getting water from open streams which are exposed to a lot of infections as they serve as source for animals and agriculture. A little amount of $10 can be charged per annum to keep the programme running (from call credit). Individuals who would love to volunteer more could and commercial activity could be charged a little above $10. Fixing this with the average number of people in each community in Africa, this money would be enough to cover for maintenance cost and running of the program.