Research brief on baseline results: Drinking water is not sufficiently tested for microbial contamination in sub-Saharan Africa.
Why doesn’t water quality testing meet regulatory standards in many African countries? Aquaya launched the Monitoring for Safe Water (MfSW) program in 2012 to answer this question. Currently supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MfSW seeks to identify and evaluate constraints to water management in sub-Saharan Africa.
In collaboration with project partners the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Water Association (IWA), MfSW works with 26 on-the-ground program partners required by regulation to monitor water quality (either water suppliers or public health agencies) in six African countries: Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia. Together, these 26 suppliers and agencies cover 118 piped water systems and 343 public health districts and are required to monitor water services for over 40 million people across the continent.
Aquaya provides financial incentives to the MfSW program partners in exchange for improved testing performance and then monitors each partner’s ability to collect the incentives in order to identify and analyze the full range of factors that support or hinder improved testing.
We are using this analysis to develop a tool for assessing and guiding institutional capacity for African water quality management. We have also developed a comprehensive analysis of microbial water quality in Africa based on the over 70, 000 water quality tests we’ve received from the program partners.