We believe that there is much scope to generate ‘virtuous’ employment opportunities and at the same time improve local services in domestic water supply, sanitation and irrigation. If we want to reach universal coverage, access to good quality water services needs to be available through very local providers.
This is the plan behind the Smart Centres, that train the local private sector in Simple, Market-based, Affordable, Repairable Technologies for domestic water, irrigation and sanitation. They introduce new robust household water techniques, develop business skills of local entrepreneurs and work out business promotion strategies, appropriate to the world’s huge customer base that live not far from the poverty line.
We support five such smart centres in different countries, whilst five more are in the making. They support local entrepreneurship, family based management and self-supply. The focus is on local production: the logic is “what is produced locally can be repaired locally”.
Examples of techniques that are promoted are manual well drilling, EMAS well development, rope pumps, mini-sprinklers, tube groundwater recharge, SaTopans latrines, and household water filters. With the SMART Centres we want help to provide access to water services for one million people and bridge the paradox of important water services not being provided and precious local talent not being utilized.
What we do:
Support the development and networking of Smart Centers
Strengthen the capacity of Smart Centers in business development and technology promotion
Support marketing strategies for SMART technologies, including local finance
Identify new SMART technologies with the potential to contribute to secure water and sanitation or irrigation and agricultural services