Aptech Africa Installs SmarTAP Water Dispensers

Aptech Africa Installs SmarTAP Water Dispensers

Aptech Africa South Sudan recently installed 106 units of the smartTAP Lorentz dispensers in communities in South Sudan. The project was funded by GIZ and implemented by Oxfam South Sudan.

Lorentz has been able to develop a robust prepaid water dispenser that is able to count water to the dot and hence through this innovation, water schemes are now able to greatly reduce revenue losses as well as losses due to water wastages. The Lorentz dispenser works completely offline with an option of data collection with the aid of Bluetooth connection. Data can be uploaded to the customer account at any location with an internet connection. The dispenser tracks the amount of water collected by every individual per day with data storage of up to 5 years.

The pilot project that Aptech implanted involves four prime locations in Juba, Torit, Yambio and Yei. Don Bosco VTC has launched its plumbing program and therefore Oxfam has felt it wise to train the youth on how the prepaid water metering works by installing a dispenser at the school premises as well as one dispenser in the plumbing workshop.

The sites were primarily chosen because of the fact that they have active water schemes and the communities are happily paying for the services of these schemes as long as there is a reliable service in terms of water flow.

The beneficiaries are community members are water committees who are now able to have a 24 hour access to water at least for the safe locations like Torit.

In the past, South Sudan has been home to only 10 Lorentz water dispensers which were installed as a pilot project in Juba and failed after 6 months because of several issues both from the client as well as issues arising from the management of the scheme. Therefore, this is the largest deployment of Lorentz smart tap dispensers here in South Sudan distributed in 4 locations for the start.

Aptech’s biggest challenge was that smarTAP is completely very new technology to South Sudan and historically there has not been sufficient capacity development across the different water schemes. In addition, there has not been enough research to ascertain which schemes are ready to embrace this method and which schemes are not ready for the technology. Aptech Africa, together with Lorentz the manufacturers of the technology, are still doing capacity development for the various schemes to ensure that there is sustainability and that the technical people running these schemes can be able to run independently without need for external help.

Aptech has so far issued a total number of 9000 tags across the various communities. If we consider a tag is given to each household, and each household has at least 6 people, the initial installation phase is benefitting about 54,000 people. Other areas are still scaling up.  

With the help of dispensers, Aptech expects water wastage to greatly reduce across the various schemes. This will lead to very few breeding places for insects such as mosquitoes. Since the dispenser allows for 24-hour water access, people are given unlimited access to clean water as opposed to ordinary water kiosks which usually close at sundown.

Aptech also expect a more precise and efficient revenue collection from the various water schemes since the Lorentz dispenser comes along with a robust monitoring software that ensures that all dispensed water is accounted for without any margin of error.

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