The Smart Handpumps project began as a DFID-funded research project at the University of Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment. We are improving the sustainability of water supplies in rural Africa through innovative use of mobile data.

Long delays to repair out-of-action handpumps often force households to collect water from alternative distant or dirty water sources. Pumps can take weeks or months to repair. The health, education and economic costs, particularly for women and girls, are enormous but avoidable.

By installing a novel transmitter into their handles we convert existing handpumps into 'Smart' handpumps, which send hourly data here. The maintenance teams use this database to monitor which pumps are working and which need maintenance, and then dispatch mechanics to make fast repairs.

Click here to see a live example of the data that Smart Handpumps generate to assist our teams in monitoring and maintaining handpumps.

Mwaniki fixing a pump