OK, HERE IS A GOOD IDEA FOR WORKING WITH MOBILES IN AFRICA…
Continuing my previous post, one very important point is to simply share information on water so that people know where are for instance boreholes, dams, rivers, springs….
In this respect the French ONG acted did a good job in kenya to use mobile phone to gather this information: water sources .
The work done with mobiles (where Africa leads in terms on usage and creativity) follow what I was already researching with the ushaidi-crowdmap plattform: a way to make use of mobile phone to map anything we want.
I think this is something to be considered in other parts of the world, but I wonder how this translate in the field. Are people using mobile in rural areas going to see the map? How much does the download cost? (in Africa, mobile charges can 20 times higher than in Europe…). According to the ACTED person in charge for the project the tecnology used (Nokia Data Gathering) allows the download for about 100 Kenyan shillings (less than 1 Euro or about the cost for a bear locally, I found out here) through a 2G or 3G network. As a result, people have for the first time an full picture of their water resource in their area (the Est Pokot district)
I am helping UNIWATER EDUCATION ltd in their fundraising effort. Here is SWitzerland many raw material, mining and oil companies have their headquarter….
Discussing with Laurra Olmsted, I could confirm a strange pattern fo hydrogeologist (and geologist dealing with water): there is no job for them despite the desperate need for water in many rural areas in Africa. LAurra pointed out also another alarming fact: the lack of knowledge about Groundwater in general. here is what she says:
“I find incredible is the lack of knowledge or information on groundwater. As a groundwater specialist it is frustrating to see the potential if gw were to be developed, but for some reason, even those people who should be informed about the potential (vs surface water) continue to only talk about surface water. As a profession, this is a challenge, and one that needs to be talked up in general, at every opportunity that arises.”
Next to dealing with the Internet and marketing, I am Msc geologist myself and so I decided to step in and take action for what I can..