How can mobile channels can support sanitation service delivery while building new engagement models with customers in underserved settings? A new report  by the GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities Programme reviews opportunities and case studies.
The report begins with an overview of global sanitation access in 2015 and the different approaches currently being used to improve access. This is followed by a review of the potential uses of mobile channels in the sanitation value chain including examples of current applications.
Nearly half of India’s 1.2 billion people have no toilet at home, but more people own a mobile phone, according to the latest census data.
Only 46.9% of the 246.6 million households have lavatories while 49.8% defecate in the open. The remaining 3.2% use public toilets.
Census of India 2011 – Availability and Type of Latrine Facility: 2001-2011
Census 2011 data on houses, household amenities and assets reveal that 63.2% of homes have a telephone. More than half the population – 53.2% – have a mobile phone.
With this photo on Facebook local resident Akshay Arora asks the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to "kindly send some one and get it clean this Toilet/Urinal". One day later on 7 April 2011, MCD replied: "Your complaint reference no. is 02/0704/SP"
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) launched its Facebook page in January 2011 and an integrated SMS service in March 2011 to enable public monitoring of garbage collection sites and public urinals/toilets in areas under its jurisdiction.The first experiences were positive as illustrated by the example of 22-year-old Piyush Goyal posted his complaint of garbage spilling over from the dump in his area.
On January 8, he clicked pictures of the seven dirty ones in South Delhi’s R K Puram area and posted them on Facebook. And the next day, he says, he saw the pictures of clean dhalaos uploaded by the MCD.
“There is lot of transparency through this way. The man who actually cleans it asked me why I uploaded the pictures. So the information is going from top to the bottom,” says Goyal.
MCD additional commissioner (engineering) Anshu Prakash added:
“This system is increasing transparency, fixing accountability and putting everything under public scrutiny. And none of us like to be ashamed in public. So people have started working at the bottom”.
Posted in Sanitary Facilities, South Asia, Web sites
Tagged Facebook, mobile phones, monitoring, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, public toilets, public urinals, SMS, solid waste management, urban sanitation
Deep Springs International (DSI), a non-profit organization based in Pennsylvania, USA, and Nokia Research Center (NRC), Palo Alto, California, are teaming up to ensure the supply of clean drinking water in Haiti with NFC (near field communication) technology.
DSI has been delivering water treatment systems (which essentially consist of a covered 19-liter bucket with a spigot at the bottom) and a locally manufactured chlorine solution it has labeled Gadyen Dlo (Creole for "water guardian") since 2007.. Photo: Michael Ritter, DSI
Water treatment kits are being provided to track chlorine levels in household drinking water using NFC-enabled cell phones. NRC provided the health workers with approximately 50 Nokia 6212 NFC-enabled phones while UPM RFID supplied UPM BullsEye™ NFC tags with NXP Mifare Ultralight chip. Joseph “Jofish” Kaye, Senior Research Scientist, NRC, initiated the project together with David Holstius, a student and Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health, who developed the software application for mobile phones.
Families in the most rural areas in Haiti will have one water treatment kit consisting of a five-gallon (19 litre) plastic bucket with a lid and spigot. The RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags are attached to buckets for storing the treated drinking water and delivered to families together with a chlorine solution and written instructions for using the kit. When DSI’s water technicians visit their homes, they check whether they are using the kits properly and provide additional chlorine solutions. The technicians will read the tags using NFC cell phones loaded with software guiding them to ask relevant questions about the water being tested. They then send the data to DSI’s headquarters via SMS. The software application uses the Frontline SMS platform.
In the wake of President Obama’s visit to India, AP journalist Ravi Nessman writes that “he will find a country of startlingly uneven development and perplexing disparities, where more people have cell phones than access to a toilet”.
Interestingly, Nessman ends his article by suggesting that the spread of cell phones could empower slum dwellers to demand better sanitation services.
The Mumbai slum of Rafiq Nagar has no clean water for its shacks made of ripped tarp and bamboo. No garbage pickup along the rocky, pocked earth that serves as a road. No power except from haphazard cables strung overhead illegally.
And not a single toilet or latrine for its 10,000 people.
Yet nearly every destitute family in the slum has a cell phone. Some have three.
It is a country buoyed by a vibrant business world of call centers and software developers, but hamstrung by a bloated, corrupt government that has failed to deliver the barest of services.
Mobile phones in the UK are covered with up to 18 times more living bacteria than the flush handle on a men’s lavatory, research suggests.
Bacteria can linger on a mobile phone surface. Photo: Which?
Swabs and analysis of 30 mobile handsets found that seven had high or warning levels of environmental bacteria, according to consumer group Which? One contained such an intense concentration of bacteria, including faecal coliforms, that anyone using it could have faced a serious stomach upset.
Which? said the findings suggest millions of UK mobiles would exceed the recommended acceptable levels of bacteria.
While not immediately harmful, elevated levels of bacteria indicate poor hygiene and can act as a breeding ground for more serious germs.
Hygiene expert Jim Francis told Which?: “The levels of potentially harmful bacteria on one mobile were off the scale. That phone needs sterilising.”
The tests showed how easily bacteria could linger on the surface of a phone, which could be passed on to other people if they held the handset to look at photos or other applications.
Which? advises that phones can be cleaned with an alcohol wipe.
Source: Telelgraph, 28 Jul 2010