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Posted on: 06-10-2016

Development of the SMART Centre Group

During the last years, ARRAKIS has contributed to the development of the SMART Centre group, which is a group of five SMART centres in African countries.

The SMART Centre approach:
Strengthening local private sector to produce and sell SMARTechs. SMART stands for Simple, Market-based, Affordable, Repairable Technologies. SMARTechs are disseminated by SMART Centres which function as an incubator by training technicians and entrepreneurs in production, maintenance, business management and quality control. After training, the private sector can deliver WASH and other services to governments, NGOs, schools, communities, and households. The result of the SMART Centre approach is reduced costs and increased sustainability of communal rural water supply and increased options for Self-supply.

In 10 years, 35 new local companies have been established in Tanzania which have produced 3,000 hand drilled tube wells and 10,000 Rope pumps. About 50% of the pumps were for small communities, mostly funded by donors and 50% were paid for by families. Family wells (Self-supply) increase family incomes by an average of 180 Euro/year.
 As a result 80 to 90% of the pumps are functioning and 500,000 people have been supplied at 10-20 Euro/person for both hardware and training. Other countries where SMARTechs are successful include: Nicaragua, Bolivia, Malawi, and Mozambique and Ethiopia.

SMART Centres are members of the SMART Centre Group (SCG). There are centres in Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Nicaragua and starting in Ethiopia. There are requests from five other countries. The goal of the SCG is to bring this initiative to global scale by joining forces and efficiently using scarce resources.

Key players
The SCG is coordinated by MetaMeta and supported by Aqua4All and RWSN/Skat Foundation. These provide the backbone support services for the SMART Centre Group and its members.

Jasmina van Driel – jvandriel@metameta.nl
Matthias Saladin - Matthias.Saladin@skat.ch