Tech Made Simple

Hot Topics: How to Fix Bluetooth Pairing Problems | Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy | How to Block Spam Calls | Snapchat Symbol Meaning

We may earn commissions when you buy from links on our site. Why you can trust us.

author photo

Ugandan Cell Phones Used to Ensure Clean Water

by Fox Van Allen on April 05, 2013

UgandaToday, we use our cell phones for just about everything from keeping in touch with loved ones to attacking crown-wearing pigs with a series of colorful birds. But in rural Africa, cell phones are being used for a much more important purpose: to provide access to clean drinking water.

African engineers routinely dig wells around the Ugandan countryside to service the poor, but these water sources have high rates of technical failure. Broken wells can take months to fix, because it can take months for anyone in a city to know that a well is broken. The problem is significant enough that, by UNICEF’s estimation, only 64% of rural Ugandans have access to improved drinking water.

But while these rural parts of Uganda lack clean water, residents still have access to cell phones. According to the World Bank, 52% of Ugandans had access to a cell phone last year – about the African average. There, cell phones aren’t a luxury item – they’re often the only option for communication.

Uganda’s Mobile Telephones for Improved Access to Safe Water program, launched in late 2011, was designed to improve communications between those who depend on water and those who provide access to it. Now, when a rural water source breaks, a local can use a cell phone to send a “fault report” by text message. An engineer is then sent out to assess and repair the well within 48 hours.

Aside from access to clean water, mobile phones are rapidly changing the face of Africa by improving both access to information and quality of life. Rural farmers will often lease cell phones to check weather reports and crop prices, sharing the information with those around them. And well over a million Ugandans use their phones to bank, giving much of the country access to a financial institution – and money – for the first time.


, News, Phones and Mobile, Cell Phones, Blog

Discussion loading

Home | About | Meet the Team | Contact Us
Media Kit | Newsletter Sponsorships | Licensing & Permissions
Accessibility Statement
Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookie Policy

Techlicious participates in affiliate programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provide a small commission from some, but not all, of the "click-thru to buy" links contained in our articles. These click-thru links are determined after the article has been written, based on price and product availability — the commissions do not impact our choice of recommended product, nor the price you pay. When you use these links, you help support our ongoing editorial mission to provide you with the best product recommendations.

© Techlicious LLC.