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Before yesterdaySMART Centre Group

Successful Short Course @ CCAP SMART Centre, Malawi

2 November 2021 at 12:07

EMAS technologies further reduce cost of self-supply 

The month of September has been a busy month at the SMART Centre in Malawi. For a period of three weeks Henk Holtslag (on behalf of the SMART Centre Group) and Wolfgang Buchner (on behalf of EMAS International) visited to facilitate the Short Course on ‘WASH Technologies for Self-supply’.
EMAS, the CCAP SMART Centre and the SMART Centre Group organised a training in water technologies that are affordable  for families and so fit for Self-supply and a group of 15 technicians from Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya joined for the trainings.

Group picture after the training

The first week of the training focussed on introducing the EMAS technologies through a hands on training, including the construction of a drill set and 2 EMAS pump models. Also the EMAS underground tank and the wash basis with 80 litre storage tank were constructed. Wells drilled with the EMAS drill cost 10-12US$/ metre so  a well of 20 m deep would cost ca 220US$ including a hand pump

During the second week the updated Mzuzu Drilling was shown and Mr. Phiri of the Zambia SMART Centre introduced the VES technology, as an additional option for site selection, increasing the rate of successful wells. The trainings finalized with an Open Day on 29th September, during which the newly trained EMAS Technologies were shown, together with the existing SMARTechs at the DemoGround.

A short report of the training can be downloaded here. The document also includes a brief overview of the SMARTechs. For more impressions of the training, check the pictures and the short clip below

  • Leaflet promoting the event
  • Preparing the EMAS drilling set
  • Overview of EMAS drilling in progress
  • EMAS drilling in progress
  • EMAS drilling in progress
  • Group picture after the training
  • Visitors appreciating the sanitation options shown at the DemoGround
  • Henk Holtslag introducing the SMARTechs as part of the Open Day
  • First EMAS pump installed after the training, by Brighton Kaniki of Zaluso Plumbing and Engineering Works in Kasungu/Mponela

Short courses on Self-supply Technologies @ CCAP SMART Centre, Malawi

27 May 2021 at 09:45

The recently published book “Self-Supply” indicates that over 1 billion people world-wide have Self-supply so water supply for which they paid themselves. Some 80% of all self-supply systems are wells. It is clear that scaling self-supply has a huge potential to help in reaching Sustainable Development Goals for water, poverty and food.

The CCAP SMART Centre Malawi, in collaboration with EMAS International and the SMART Centre Group, is organizing two short courses on low-cost Water and Sanitation Technologies with a focus on Self-supply.

Course 1 will take place from Monday 6 – 17 September 2021 and will focus on Hands on training in self-supply technologies targetting Well drillers, welders, masons, technicians, entrepreneurs, others interested in practical technologies.

Course 2 will take place from Tuesday 21 – 24 September 2021 and will focus on Demonstration of self-supply technologies and ideas to scale up targetting WASH program officers of NGOs and governments and those with general interest in approaches that can help to reach SDG6 and water related goals like poverty, food security and employment.

For more info and registration check the flyer and contact us through jamemhango@gmail.com or henkholtslag49@gmail.com.

Book on Self-supply: ‘Filling the gaps in public water supply provision’

16 February 2021 at 14:20

One of the approaches promoted by the SMART Centres is supporting self-supply, so stimulating people to invest in their own water system like a well and pump.

There is now the first ever book on Self-supply Filling the gaps in public water supply provision has been published by Dr. Sally Sutton and John Butterworth. By RWSN it has been called THE book and on the first day of publication, the book was downloaded more than 500 times already.

In the book several SMART Centres and the people involved like Rik Haanen, Walter Mgina, Reinier Veldman and Henk Holtslag are mentioned.

Self supply is increasingly seen as one of the options to reach SDG6.1 and related SDGs for food, income and employment. We highly recommend that you download and read the book. You can get your copy through Practical Action. The electronic version is for free and there are paid soft and hard-cover versions availble.

‘Self-supply has long been overlooked because it is largely unmapped, unmonitored and unregulated, and therefore invisible to policy-makers and decision-takers. This wonderful new book shows what they are missing by providing an accessible but comprehensive overview of self-supply in its many forms and contexts, from the lowest income countries to the highest. It puts people at the centre of the challenge to achieve universal water access and is a celebration of ingenuity and resilience – and highlights that household investment and remittances can play a vital role in plugging the investment gap in rural water infrastructure. This book is destined to become a classic reference that all rural water supply professionals should become familiar with.’

Sean Furey, Director, Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN)

29 January 2021: Bachir Afonso missing for one year

1 February 2021 at 12:07

One full year has passed since we have heard from Bachir Afonso, our dear friend and companion, who was the practical manager of ”Grupo de Saneamento de Bilibiza” in Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique. The 29th of January 2020, Bilibiza was attacked by resurgents from the north, burning half of the total of houses in Bilibiza. Most people of Bilibiza had fled to the woods by then. Late afternoon they came to the workshop of GSB, where Bachir still was present.
At 19.19 PM Henk Holtslag of the SMART Centre Group received an app-message in the Netherlands from Bachir Afonso saying:

“Cry for help. Armed men have entered Bilibiza and are burning from 5 PM till now. All schools were burnt. We no longer have a SMART centre. They are destroying Bilibiza!!”

This was the last we ever heard from him. So we fear for his life and probably also that from his wife. We have still some hope that he is still alive.

It would be a great loss if he has gone. He is a great guy, vivid and joyful. Always the well being of his community in his mind. He told me, Jan de Jongh, that each day he is thinking : ”How can I help my community members?”. He had the ability to put his ideas into practice. Around 2005 when I first met him, he had just started to train a group of women and men, in a backyard of a house to produce concrete latrine slabs.

He put much effort in convincing the population of Bilibiza, a few thousand, to make pit latrines , with such a slab and possibly with water for cleaning hands. As a result, last year about half of the village had such a latrine.

He was also a practising muslim, and thus member of the large muslim community in Bilibiza, who have to wash hands before saying prayers.
He was eager to learn, and what he learned, he immediately put into practice. He also had the ability to connect with people from all levels; peasants, local authorities and even the president, who visited once the project on bio-fuel we were running with him as a project leader on growing jatropha and producing bio-fuel from it.

He managed to build up a team that was able to deliver SMART technologies in water supply, mainly trained by Henk Holtslag over the years starting in 2006 until 2019. With aid from several donors, like Aqua4all, Marie-Stella-Maris and others we could let them execute various projects in villages surrounding Bilibiza, mostly in the district of Quisanga.

Bachir Afonso at one of the projects

The projects included various elements, in the area of water supply, sanitation, including soap making, food production with farmers clubs, household water treatment, with introduction of household water filters and bio-fuels (supported by a Japanese donor).

In 2010 GSB became officially a member of the SMART Centre group. Bachir guided and stimulated his team with the co-director Mrs. Tcheizi Mutemba, who resides in Maputo, and who maintains the links with international donors as well.

The team is now dispersed, but under guidance of Tcheizi they continue to work with projects , for the time being in safer areas, near Montepuez.

For us Bachir is a champion for Mozambique in local development both in human capacity building as well as in providing basic elements for prosperity in accordance with the SDG’s.

We really miss him!

Jan de Jongh

Henk Holtslag

Flemming Nielsen

Group picture at the GSB SMART Centre in Bilibiza

Water for all health centres in Eastern Zambia

1 February 2021 at 10:35

As one of the COVID-19 responses the Jacana SMART Centre in Zambia took the initiative to provide water to Health Centres in Eastern Zambia. This initiative was supported by Wilde Ganzen and several other donors.

The website www.dutchwatersector.com/ recently published a newsitem in which the project is highlighted. See newsitem.

This initiative has shown how, through the trained entrepreneurs, the SMART Centres can contribute to increased access to the much needed water at Health Centres which will, also beyond COVID-19, have an impact on the surrounding communities.

For more info, check the website of the Jacana SMART Centre:

Climate Adaptation Summit 2021

25 January 2021 at 21:28

On the 25th and 26th of January 2021 the first online international Climate Adaptation Summit will be held. The focus of CAS 2021 will be on finding solutions that enable people to adapt to the effects of climate change, such as extreme rainfall, drought, heatwaves and sea level rise. World leaders such as Angela Merkel, Ban Ki‐moon and UN Secretary‐General António Guterres will attend the high‐level opening session in the Netherlands and launch a broad Adaptation Action Agenda, setting out practical climate solutions and plans up to 2030.

The work of the SMART Centres also provides options that help households to adapt to the changing climate. Some of the work has been presented during the IAAS pre-event to the CAS. A recent 2-pager (Increase climate resilience in Africa with water buffering and the SMART approach) highlights some of the achievements of the past 20 years, with a focus on Nicaragua and Tanzania, but also provides an outlook to scale this approach.

Download the 2-pager here.

For more information on recharge technologies check here.

IAAS Youth in Agriculture pre-event of the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021

18 January 2021 at 15:06

On the 25th and 26th of January the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 will be organised online. As pre-event to the summit, the International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences (IAAS) organised a pre-event which brought 1500+ students together. The SMART Centre Group hosted one of the workshops under the title: “SMART Centres and smart solutions Increase resilience to climate change by building local capacity in innovative and affordable water and agriculture solutions”.

Henk Holtslag, Reinier Veldman presented on the SMART approach and SMART Centres and the link to Climate Adaptation and (Youth) Employment and Abraham Mehari covered the Smart Water for Agriculture project. The workshop generated a fruitfull discussion and provided input to the ‘Call to Action’ (English, French) which will be presented by IAAS to The Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs during the Summit.

The presentations are available on the resources page.

COVID-19 Water Technology and Services Portfolio published by NWP

12 January 2021 at 17:33

The Netherlands Water Partnership recently developed a portfolio of ‘COVID-19 Water Technology and Services’. The portfolio is an overview of initiatives and Dutch companies who have services or products that can contribute to stop the spread of COVID and also monitor the spread. As part of the portfolio two cases work of the SMART Centres is mentioned and also the water filters of Basic Water Needs are included. Basic Water Needs has been a long term partner and supporter of the work of the SMART Centres.

The portfolio can be accessed through https://publications.dutchwatersector.com/covid-19-portfolio/start/. The individual pages related to the work of the SMART Centre can be accessed through the links below:

Very affordable solar pumps

10 December 2020 at 16:24

One of the technologies that are being tested by the SMART Centres are small solar pumps in the price range of $30 – $60. With a solar panel, a complete set would cost in the range if $80 – $120.

The Jacana SMART Centre in Zambia has recently released a manual on Electical pumps selection & installation and has also trained a group of entreneurs as ‘pump advisors’. This will be used as a service to clients to advice them on the pump suitable for their situation and provides the entrepreneurs with another possible income stream.

Check the update from the Jacana Website and request the manual here.

Reflecting on the COVID-19 response project in Malawi

2 December 2020 at 13:14

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the CCAP SMART Centre in Malawi set-up a project to provide handwashing stations to public places around Mzuzu, such as markets, hospitals and schools. The project has been carried out and one of the staff members reflects on the approach in the video after the ‘read more’.

Thanks to Wilde Ganzen, Wierda Baas Foundation, Rotary Apeldoorn ‘t Loo, the SMART Centre Foundation and De Gevulde Waterkruik for their support.

World Toilet Day – November 19th

23 November 2020 at 11:52

Since 2013, the 19th of November is celebrated as World Toilet Day. This years’ theme of the official celebrations was ‘Sustainable Sanitation and Climate Change’.

One of the ways in which the SMART Centres contribute towards access to a toilet or latrine is offering a range of options such as zero cement ‘corbelled latrines’ and SaTopans or Flapper. See also the overview of Sanitation Technologies.

Another interesting set of resources are the timelines with the NICC Foundation is developing. Recently two WASH timelines have been added to the collection. Check them on the website of NICC.

Good progress at the building site of the Jacana SMART Centre, Zambia

19 November 2020 at 10:01

Jacana is building a new Jacana Business Centre in Chipata, Zambia. The Jacana SMART Centre will be integrated in this building together with the activities around beekeeping, business training and sustainable agriculture.

Jacana is combining the building of the Business Centre with the training of bricklayers, which will be certified by TEVETA, after successfully completing the exam in April.

So far the fence has been build and a borehole has been drilled. Also the foundation for the office has been constructed.

For a full update, visit the website of the Jacana SMART Centre.

Overview of the building site

Global Handwashing Day 2020

14 October 2020 at 10:56

Global Handwashing Day is October 15. And as every year, the day serves as a platform to raise global awareness on the importance of hand-washing with soap.

Within the work of the SMART Centres, handwashing is an important theme as it contributes greatly to improved health and reduced spread of diseases. There are ongoing projects in Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Niger around Handwashing and COVID-19 and we have recently published several resources with ideas to scale-up low-cost handwashing solutions.

Handwashing at a market in Mzuzu, Malawi, using one of the handwashing stations make by a welders trained through the SMART Centre.

SMART Centres presenting during Partin-Wilde Ganzen month

12 October 2020 at 10:25

During the month of October Partin and Wilde Ganzen have shifted their yearly meet-up to an online event, which will take place in the month of October. The kick-off session was on October 3rd and on October 19th it will be the turn for Henk Holtslag to present on the SMART approach and the work of the SMART Centres. More info is available on the website and don’t forget to register for this event!
Please note the Webinar will be in Dutch.

Pumping is Life, Ghana

1 October 2020 at 16:29

Pumping is Life in WaleWale, Ghana, is one of the organisations that have recently requested to officially become a member of the SMART Centre Group and establish a SMART Centre.

Pumping is Life has been one of the early adopters of the Rope pump and other SMARTechs and have received training by Henk Holtslag on several occasions. Recently they moved to a new office.

Pumping is Life is supported by ‘Pompen is Leven‘ a foundation from the Netherlands and has so far provided water through more than 400 wells and pumps.

Pictures of the new premises of the Pumping is Life SMART Centre in Ghana.

Welding against COVID-19

9 September 2020 at 10:54

The SMART Centre trained welders in Malawi have been busy lately fabricating handwashing stations, meant for use in public places like markets, schools and universities. Part of the facilities are finded through a project with Wilde Ganzen and others have been ordered by local institutions, after they saw the examples at the shops of the welders, which is a good spin-off for the welders.

  • Handwash stations made by Essau Mweso of Magaula Welding in Mzuzu
  • Handwash stations made by Alex Chakwanira of Lexx Welding and Fabrication in Mzuzu
  • Handwash stations made by Alex Chakwanira of Lexx Welding and Fabrication in Mzuzu
  • Handwash stations made by Brighton Kaniki of Zaluso Plumbing and Engineering in Kasungu
  • Handwash stations made by Brighton Kaniki of Zaluso Plumbing and Engineering in Kasungu
  • Transport of the handwash stations to the SMART Centre in Mzuzu

‘Making a Wash Bottle’ tutorial released

28 September 2020 at 15:28

As one of the efforts in making handwashing easy and accesible the EERN SMART Centre in Niger has developed the zero cost ‘Wash Bottle’. The Wash Bottle uses a plastic bottle or tin can to make a simple handwashing tool at no cost and without wastage of water.

Getting trained on horticulture, aquaculture, pumps and wells: 2020 SKAT/ZH2O Training is ongoing at SHIPO SMART Centre!

18 June 2020 at 11:40

The SMART Centre in Njombe, Tanzania, has recently started a new round of trainings funded through SKAT/ZH2O. The topics of the training include horticulture, aquaculture and training in the production of SMARTechs such as Rope pumps and manual drilling. See the newsitem on the website of the SMART Centre for an impression of the activities.

The trainees after the production of the first two Rope pumps.

Initiatives by SMART Centres to fight COVID

5 June 2020 at 16:02

While the measures to confine the spread of COVID in Europe are showing effect the spread of the virus is increasing in the countries where the SMART Centres are established and where the support local businesses in providing WASH facilities and services. These local businesses and their technologies are an essential tool in the efforts to confine the spread.

The Jacana SMART Centres in Zambia and the CCAP SMART Centre in Malawi have both started a project, which is supported by Wilde Ganzen.

The Jacana SMART Centre will, through the trained entrepreneurs provide water to all Health Centres in Eastern Zambia. See the website for more info.

The CCAP SMART Centre will provide hand washing stations to local markets and health centres in Northern Malawi. See the website for more info.

The EERN SMART Centre in Niamey, Niger, focusses on training local (female) leaders in the construction of hand wash stations, local production of mouth masks, water filters and provision of food aid to the most effected families. See a recent news item for pictures.

The SHIPO SMART Centre in Njombe, Tanzania, focusses on the distribution of hand washing facilities to health centres in Mbozi district and the promotion of Face shields, partly made from recycled plastics. See the website for more info.

The projects in Zambia and Malawi are supported by Wilde Ganzen who will double the funds raised. Any support to the projects is appreciated and can be donated through the SMART Centre Foundation or for Zambia directly through their website. Dutch donors can get a tax-refund ANBI.

Other SMART Centres in Kenya and Mozambique are also developing proposals for COVID-related activities and once these are approved we will publish them through the SMART Centre Group website.