Improving water access to villagers in eSwatini

October 28, 2019

How do you help a village in eSwatini that has intermittent and unreliable power and unsafe drinking water?  

A team from Icon Water and the Bureau of Meteorology have come up with a sustainable solution using renewable energy (and have been recognised by WaterAid with a ‘Best solve’ award.)  

The project focussed on a village called Ka Ben in eSwatini (former Swaziland), with Icon Water and BOM staff given the mandate to use their design and communications skills to improve water access. 

The challenges faced by Ka Ben residents are outlined in this video:   

Our solution

At Icon Water we have a sophisticated software system that can show us deficiencies in a water supply and assist us to optimise solutions. 

We were able to run a model of the system in Ka Ben through our own software, testing different scenarios and setups. For example, we ran the model using only one water tank, and then added others to see if that would meet demand. 

We were able to create four solutions, giving the KaBen community choice of the solution that worked best for them. Our recommended solutions added tanks and employed Water Minders. Water Minders filled water containers during the day for households, when solar power was available and the tanks could refill. This lessened the burden on the children who had to queue for water before and after school and meant there was water available for everyone in the KaBen community.  

WaterAid’s mission is to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. WaterAid’s Winnovators is a unique corporate and social responsibility program, enhancing business profile while contributing ideas and funds to tackle the global water, sanitation and hygiene crisis.