SMART Techs

Women in Zambia using a rope pump

What are SMART Techs?
These are effective products, imperative for health, produced with local skills, tools and materials, affordable for the poor, and easy and cheap to operate and maintain. Examples: hand drilled boreholes with Rope pump, simple improved pit latrines, tippy tap hand wash facilities, dish racks, etc.

Why SMART Techs?
The conventional technologies introduced in developing countries are often complex, expensive and made of imported parts. An example is the hand piston pump for rural water supply. Despite improved designs and training many piston pumps in sub-Saharan countries do not function because communities cannot manage them (spare parts not available or too expensive, complex maintenance, etc.). SMART Techs do not have these disadvantages as they are cheap, locally produced and easy to maintain. For instance, compared to the piston pump the Rope pump is up to 70% cheaper while over 90% of the 130.000 Rope pumps installed worldwide (serving over 5 million people) stay working.

How to introduce SMART Techs?
Together with our partners in developing countries we set up SMART Centres. These are expert centres that build capacity (training, intensive guidance, financing on loan basis) among local companies to produce the solutions, finance institutes to provide affordable loans to beneficiaries for these solutions, and NGO’s to create awareness among beneficiaries about these solutions, how to purchase, operate and maintain them and how to put them to productive use (irrigation, fertilizers). We currently have SMART centres in Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique while a new SMART centre is in preparation in the North of Uganda. new SMART centres are in line for South Sudan, Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Cost-benefit of SMART Techs

Two examples:

  1. Local masons producing concrete slabs for latrines
    In Mozambique our partner trains and guides local masons to produce reinforced concrete slabs for simple improved pit latrines and market these among villagers on a commercial basis. The local mason gets a loan or several bags of cement and some reinforcement steel and repays this later to the SMART Centre (or the beneficiary repays the loan straight to the Centre which takes the risk away from the mason).

    Cost
    About € 200 first year and € 50 per year afterwards per mason.

    Benefit
    A local mason markets and produces about 50 to even 100 proper reinforced concrete slabs per year.

    Bottleneck
    Transport (masons have a bike but to cycle over 15 km on a dusty road with two bags of cement on the back of the bicycle is not easy; solutions are tried now in giving local masons loans to buy second hand 100 CC motor cycles and transport of materials to villages that have ordered more than 4 slabs by car of ADPP).

  2. Local company producing rope pumps
    All SMART Centres train, guide and quality control existing local companies to produce Rope pumps.

    Cost
    Approximately € 1,000 first year and € 300 per year afterwards per company.

    Benefit
    The local companies produce 200 or more Rope pumps per year.

    Bottleneck
    Quality control by the Centre requires constant attention as companies tend to forget about quality norms and proper production techniques. Therefore certification systems are introduced for all companies trained (also drillers and others)

Movie School Sanitation project

AttachmentSize
SHIPO 2-day introduction to SMART Tecs.pdf22.78 KB
SHIPO SMART Tec support.pdf1.08 MB
Smart Water Solutions.ppt2.94 MB