Smart water management to promote sustainable urban development in Nairobi, Kenya

Reference number
Coordinator Ericsson AB - Ericsson Research
Funding from Vinnova SEK 380 000
Project duration May 2015 - January 2016
Status Completed
Venture Challenge-Driven Innovation – Stage 1 initiation
Call Challenge-Driven Innovation - Stage 1 Initiation 2015 (spring)

Purpose and goal

A concept for smart water distribution in Nairobi´s slums, called Maji Wazi, has been developed. This is a digital service platform that collects, analyzes and share water information. The development of the service is based on dialogues with citizens, mapping of the informal water system, and a survey of 565 households in August to December 2015. Small-scale technology tests were conducted in December 2015 and to maintain the installed sensors we have recruited three ´citizen field observers´ that receives compensation through a mobile payment service.

Results and expected effects

During Step 1, we have through regular weekly meetings clearly established the partnership and also signed some cooperation agreements. We have increased our understanding of the needs in Mashimoni by doing field visits, a survey of 565 households, and holding several types of citizen meetings. We have also developed the concept Maji Wazi through a digital mapping of the water network, joint concept development, and the installation of three test sensors to measure water flow. We still need another Swedish company as partner, but have established a Swedish reference group.

Approach and implementation

We were initially delayed due to the agreement between UN-Habitat and Nairobi Water not being finalised until August. It took some time to get used to the differences in work culture between three very different organizations and different countries (over-organized Swedes meeting more casual Kenyans). From September to December we did, however, implement the majority of the activities. The key to success was the visits Ericsson made to Nairobi, and visits Nairobi Water and UN-Habitat made to Stockholm.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.

Last updated 25 November 2019

Reference number 2015-00468

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