The GSM Association (GSMA) has supported Safe Water Network’s efforts to improve sustainable water supply through better application of mobile technology. Through two grants to date, we’ve collaborated on expanding mobile monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and rolling out mobile money services and machine-to-machine connectivity across our portfolio of small water enterprises in Ghana.

Under our mobile monitoring project, we demonstrated and quantified the operational efficiencies gained by implementing a system that monitors our water stations remotely. The seed grant tested the use of mobile data collection to improve both the monitoring of water points and response to maintenance issues for better water service delivery to small towns and peri-urban communities. This remote monitoring put accurate financial and operational information in the hands of trained operators in real time, allowing them to take immediate action and prevent an easy-to-fix issue from becoming a costly and time-consuming problem. Remote monitoring also reduces the costs of serving hard-to-reach communities by decreasing the time it takes to respond to a technical issue.

The mobile money Market Validation grant enabled us to roll out enhanced mobile money services and improved machine-to-machine connectivity across Ghana. In partnership with leading mobile network operator, MTN, we conducted a number of core activities as part of this grant:

  • Launched five new H2OME! Water Stations in our existing Volta, Ashanti, and Brong Ahafo clusters
  • Installed 75 new water ATMs for water purchases using prepaid cards, which can be topped up via mobile money
  • Installed 500 prepaid meters for household connections that allow for water supply at home through mobile money payments
  • Streamlined the mobile money payment process for water sales to increase operational efficiencies and consumer satisfaction
  • Conducted consumer activation and training to build community capabilities with mobile money for merchant payments

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with almost 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organizations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation, Inc. was created in 2007 to demonstrate the positive social impact of mobile technology. It brings together mobile operators, donors and the international development community.

Ongoing Innovation

Automating water services through water ATMs and prepaid “smart” meters for household connections improves access by increasing water availability and empowering consumers to collect water when it is most convenient for them.
Tracking financial transactions and consumer sales manually is error-prone and time-consuming, and can be difficult to verify. With our partners, we are digitizing the process, thereby reducing errors and improving traceability,...
Remote monitoring is a cost-effective, efficient way of overseeing many water stations simultaneously by a qualified technician. It ensures consistent water quality and identifies potential issues before they become problems.

Expansions

Collaborating to provide safe water access in the Ahafo Region.
Collaborating to provide safe water access in the Ashanti Region.
A peri-urban area facing water challenges due to rapid urban development.