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shutterstock_148216211-600x400Text For Change along with open source internet and mobile software developer Akvo have launched WASHtxt, a project in Uganda to provide communities with clean water, hoping to improve hygiene and sanitation in the country.

The initiative is funded by Grand Challenges Canada, an organisation providing support to innovators in middle-income countries and Canada.

The programme makes use of already existing mobile infrastructure and technology to improve water management.

Over the next year, Akvo’s Flow will be used on smart phones to map water sources and Text to Change’s Vusion platform will be used to create a feedback system between water users, hand pump mechanics and the District Water Office to ensure water source functionality and the constant provision of clean water to our communities, said Neema Iyer, Text to Change programme coordinator in the country.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) 768 million people do not have access to safe drinking water, and 2.5 billion people live without proper sanitation.

With functionality rates of around 70 per cent, we hope to increase this number to over 95 per cent through this integration of technology with community and district participation for improved access to both water and sanitation, said Iyer.