Reduced Inequalities

Allowing hope to flow in The Gambia with mobile-enabled smart water

The Gambia


Deadly water

Every week in Sub-Saharan Africa, 30,000 people die from drinking dirty, infested water. Despite the billions spent on installing water systems in the region, 40% of them break within 2 years and are never fixed. The taps that do work are typically only turned on for a couple of hours a day, causing long queues so not everyone gets to fill up. On top of this, much of the water is contaminated.

Watertight solution

Gambia's Department of Water Resources and Africell, the country's main mobile operator, realised that because 93% of people in Africa have access to a mobile phone, this technology was the answer to solving the continent’s water crisis. In April 2016, eWaterPay was launched.

Pay as you drink

An eWaterPay tap can be installed onto an existing piped water system. Customers are given a magnetic tag to which they can add credit using cash or mobile money. Then all they have to do is touch their tag to the reader on the eWater tap to start the flow of water. When they remove the tag the water stops and the cost is deducted for the amount they received. Water is available 24/7 and the whole system is digitally monitored, so if there are any issues a technician is immediately alerted to fix the problem. eWater ensures that every penny earned through the scheme is used by the water operator to pay for repairs and maintenance of the water supply.

How refreshing

Since December 2018, eWaterPay has expanded to Tanzania and Ghana and is now benefitting over 51,000 people who, for just £5 per person per year, have access to clean, safe drinking water day and night.

“Before eWater I had to go to a well that was full of worms. eWater is making such a difference. I never have to queue for water anymore. I can trust what I drink now is not going to make me sick and water is there for me anytime, even at midnight.”


Ida Minteh, student, Jarrang Village, The Gambia

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The Gambia

The Gambia 13.4432° N, 15.3101° W

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