Access to water in Afghanistan is among the lowest in the world and many wells that exist are contaminated with bacteria making the water unsafe to drink. Moreover, in rural areas women and girls have to walk long distances to fetch water.
The Watertracker initiative monitors and reports information on nearly 100,000 wells throughout Afghanistan using the open source platform Ushahidi. Trained community members call the Interactive Voice Response platform (IVR) to get the water source fixed as quickly as possible. Because Watertracker is used in rural communities that might have limited literacy, voice recognition technology is the best way of reporting malfunctioning wells. In-country support for the project has been so successful that use of the open source software has been transferred to the Afghan Government.
Rob Baker, External Projects Team & Technical lead, Watertracker