Android phones to solve India’s village water problems

A woman in a remote village with a cellular network sends out a message through an app that the water pump is broken down. A plumber equipped with an Android phone gets the message, visits the village and repairs it. He immediately sends the data back to a central system. He would probably know what would he be paid for his work from the app itself.

With a single Android app, a lot of data is collected. The GPS location of the water point, the response time to the emergency – from the time the woman sent the message to the time plumber fixed it and the amount spent on repair and spare parts. All of this and much more. If you think this is hallucination then let me tell you that it is not. This is probably the future. A pilot scheme will soon be introduced in West Bengal by the non-profit organization Water for People. In the middle of this is an Android app called FLOW – Field Level Operations Watch.

The concept has already been already piloted in Rwanda and Liberia. At the center of the whole operation is data collection of water points with the GPS location. A thing which was very expensive earlier is now the easiest thing to do with smartphones equipped with GPS locators.

Called mobile mechanics, plumbers equipped with FLOW-enabled Android phones will go from village to village on bicycles to fix the water point problems. The app will let them get the information for spare parts needed for repairs along with the location and other details.

The usage of this concept wouldn’t just limited to the water points problem. There are multitude of things that can be done with smartphones.  Android enabled phones were used to track road projects in Bihar. If used correctly, it can even root out corruption in India. I am just saying. India could do with more apps and initiatives like this.

Source : CNET