Buying Water with M-PESA in Kenya

The community of Musigini, Kenya, is pursuing a novel solution to corruption and disputes over water allocation. With Grundfos Lifelink and Safaricom, they’re building M-PESA powered wells that will allow patrons to purchase water with a smart card. Once the card is inserted, the solarm powered well will run until the patron removes the card or their credit runs out.

Smart cards will be rechargeable using through M-PESA.

Peter Hansen of the Grundfos Lifelink. told Green Inc:

”With this system we can monitor remotely how efficiently the solar well is operating, how much water has been used and how much income has been generated,” Mr. Hansen added. While some of that income is held by the organization to address the technical needs of the system, the rest, Mr. Hansen said, goes back into the community.

The system is being tested across Kenya, and by the end of the year at least 20 communities will be combining mobile banking and solar powered wells.

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About the author: Theresa Carpenter Sondjo is an entrepreneur and web developer. She lives in Cotonou, where she and her partner run People Online. Their mission is simple: la mise en ligne du Bénin. Follow her on Twitter at @theresac.
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