Monitoring: mobile phone technology is helping to track chlorine levels in household drinking water in Haiti
Updated - Tuesday 17 May 2011
An NGO is using mobile phones and electronic tags to better monitor the use of household water treatment kits serving 35,000 families in Haiti. Some 240 health workers employed by Deep Springs International (DSI) read the tags using 40 NFC (near field communication) enabled cell phones provided by project partner Nokia Research Center (NRC) . The phones are loaded with software, developed by the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health, which guide the health workers to ask relevant questions about the water being tested. Using the Frontline SMS platform, they send monitoring reports to DSI’s headquarters in the USA. Using mobile technology ensures that the report information is current, more reliable and properly detailed.
The water treatment kit consists of a 19 litre plastic bucket with a lid and spigot. The RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags  are attached to the buckets for storing the treated drinking water and delivered to families together with a locally manufactured chlorine solution  and written instructions. When DSI’s health workers visit homes, they check whether the kits are properly used and provide additional chlorine solutions. Without regular house visits, experience learns that users easily revert to drinking unclean water.
 Nokia will fund another 100 phones; the long-term plan is to provide 200 phones
 UPM BullsEye™ NFC tags with NXP Mifare Ultralight chip, supplied by UPM RFID
 Labelled “Gadyen Dlo”, which is Creole for "water guardian"
Related news: Monitoring: three new mapping tools launched, E-Source, 03 Nov 2010
Related web sites:
- Mobile Phones + Safe Water | Haiti (project Wiki)
- Deep Springs International
- Nokia Research Center
- UPM RFID
- David Holstius, PhD Student in Environmental Health Sciences, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, USA, email@example.com
- Joseph “Jofish” Kaye, PhD, Senior Research Scientist & Ethnographer, Nokia Research Center Palo Alto, USA, contact form
- Michael Ritter, MPH, National Program Director & CEO, Deep Springs International, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
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