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Inspiring African StoriesZimbabwean Innovator Allen Chafa developed a real-time water quality monitoring and control...

Zimbabwean Innovator Allen Chafa developed a real-time water quality monitoring and control system to address waterborne diseases.

Allen Chafa, a Zimbabwean innovator has developed Smart Water Tech, a real-time water quality monitoring and control system to address waterborne diseases in Zimbabwe.

In response to a 43% increase in cholera infections in Zimbabwe between 2018 and 2020 and 3.5 million fatalities attributed to contaminated drinking water each year in Africa, Allen Chafa founded Smart Water Tech.

“There is a real issue with water service delivery, and contaminated water is still being delivered to consumers. Our product is saving time, money and water. But most importantly we are aiming to save lives. This is a public health issue hindering economic growth, and it is essential for people’s human rights that they know their drinking water is 100% safe.” – Allen Chafa

At three different phases of municipal water treatment, Smart Water Tech uses sensors. The first step involves testing the water both before and after flocculation, the procedure that involves adding a chemical coagulant to the water to separate certain particles and identify the necessary additions.

The water is tested once more throughout the filtering process and once more just before it is placed into tanks to be distributed to the community.

The six sensors used in Chafa’s invention keep an eye on dissolved oxygen, pH levels, temperature, turbidity, hardness, and total dissolved solids.

An intervention is necessary or not based on the collected data. When water quality deviates from norms specified by the World Health Organization, the software of Smart Water Tech sends an SMS message, allowing for quick intervention. Multimedia filters and automated chemical dosing systems are used to carry out autonomous control measures.

It is unnecessary to conduct costly and time-consuming laboratory tests when water quality is monitored online.

Chafa and his crew have duplicated the idea at three homesteads and constructed a lab-sized prototype unit at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo. In order to avoid the need for excessive quantities of chlorine, Chafa plans to create a biosensor in the future that can specifically recognize different types of bacteria in water.

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