WaterAid's Water Point Mapper receives award

Dec 12, 2011

WaterAid last night received a high commendation for its Water Point Mapper tool. The Charity Times Awards 2011 commended the development and effective use of the water supply monitoring tool.

The innovative tool, free to users, can map the distribution and status of water supply services in developing countries and can be used anywhere. It provides an efficient way to identify and track which facilities are working, and where new ones are needed.
"The Water Point Mapper puts information into the hands of local planners who need it most," said WaterAid's Mapping Officer, Joseph Pearce.
"It's a tool that we at WaterAid are hugely proud of, so we're delighted to receive a high commendation within the Best Use of Technology category from the Charity Times. We hope it will further increase the tool's visibility and recognition for the 884 million people worldwide without access to clean water."
Before the Water Point Mapper was developed, the monitoring and mapping of rural water supply services in sub-Saharan Africa had been a complex process involving the use of expensive Geographical Information System-based software tools.
The mapper, however, can be used where there is minimal computer literacy and no internet connectivity.
Since piloting the technology in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe, WaterAid, together with the Lilongwe Water Board, have planned and constructed 65 water kiosks to improve water supplies for poor communities. The project showed the tool could be easily used by local staff to produce powerful and effective maps.
The Water Point Mapper is now being used in a number of districts in Kenya and Ethiopia, East Africa – a region experiencing its worst drought in 60 years, and where accurate mapping is critical for ensuring long term water security.
WaterAid is also using the mapper to monitor the sustainability of its programme work for the next ten years, as part of its Sustainability Framework published in May.
The Mapper is based on a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet which generates maps that can be viewed offline in Google Earth. The maps serve to highlight the disparities in water supply and can be used by communities and NGOs to lobby for greater attention for underserved communities.
The Water Point Mapper was developed with IT solutions provider Collabera and was launched at Stockholm World Water Week last year.
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