Many water systems in developing countries fail because of poor maintenance. Is it possible to design a sustainable solution?
Four Industrial Design students from different masters, designed and tested a new water system plan at a school in The Gambia. The initiator of the project was the company Join the Pipe, who´s main mission is to provide everybody in the world with clean drinking water.
Although there is a government regulated central water system in The Gambia, people still make use of wells as an independent water source. Corruption and high prices make the water system not very reliable. But independent wells and water systems sometimes break down and without money, people are not able to repair them. During extensive research in The Gambia, it was concluded that people are willing to pay a bit extra for cooled water. This might be a source of income for maintaining the independent water systems.
During the project, a solar driven cold water shop has been designed and partly implemented for testing. With the money that is earned in the shop, the total water system, including free street taps for the poor, can be maintained.
The water shop is placed at a big school in Brikama, the Gambia, providing not only a source of income, but also an opportunity for the children to learn about entrepreneurship, economy and independence. The shop was designed and build together with the children of the school and the community.