Photo: Picsio, Creative Commons
And this man aims to fix them ...
There were more than a few folks critical of standard NGO and conservation group practices at this year's Poptech conference. For instance, Ned Breslin, the CEO of Water for People, tells me that reports from the field show that as many as 60% of the wells installed in Africa to deliver clean water may be broken or dysfunctional. After the wells are built, the celebration ceremonies held, and the corporate donors satisfied, too often the wells get neglected and fall into disrepair. Which is why he and his team designed a novel online program to keep track of water wells around the world. He calls it Flow, and explains how it works in this quick interview after the jump:
From WFP's website:
How it works: Utilizing cutting edge technology, including Android cell phone technology and Google Earth software, FLOW provides anyone on the Internet access to crucial data for projects supported by Water For People. Community members, entrepreneurs, industry professionals, partners, staff and volunteers gather data with an Android phone. At the touch of a button, data flows to the Internet and updates the status of a water point or sanitation solution on Google Maps and Google Earth
Interview continues below:
Clearly, Breslin is right -- the important part of bringing clean water projects to the developing world is not the ribbon-cutting ceremony, or getting photos of thirst-quenched kids for an NGO's website. It's not digging as many wells as possible, either -- it's making sure as many wells will continue to function properly over time and provide reliable clean water in the future.
See Water for People's website for more information.