The machine, called AQTap, is built in the form of an ATM, with a touch screen and user interface that requires the swipe of a card. Only unlike a regular cash ATM, this contraption dispenses water. A user is given the ‘water card’ after purchasing points through a vendor, or from his mobile phone. A 20-litre jerrycan of water can be bought for KSh 3 ($0.20). The initiative aims to solve two critical problems facing Kenya – availability of clean water, and revenue generation to provide the clean water.
Ravn Lorenazen of Grundfos said, “the man opening and closing the valve does it for a price. And his motivation to pass on the money for water utility is limited. The money that they invested can be collected and reinvested into supplying water. And at the same time, (the local government) is incentivized to keep them operational, because if it’s not operational, there is no income.”
The project, also being tested in Uganda, Nigeria, and Thailand, also record and save data on how often the machines are being used, and the amount of money it generates.