ZIMBABWEAN industrial engineer Allen Chafa has been shortlisted for the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering.
Chafa’s nomination stems from his Smart Water Tech, a real-time water quality monitoring and control system that seeks to arrest water-borne diseases. The system is designed to address poor water quality, which results in the spread of water-borne diseases.
Chafa created the Smart Water Tech in response to a 43% increase in cholera cases in Zimbabwe between 2018 and 2020.
He said the technology was an efficient method of supplying clean water to the masses.
“Smart Water Tech applies sensors to municipal water treatment at three stages. In the first stage, water is tested before and during pre-treatment flocculation, the process where a chemical coagulant is added to the water to separate specific particles and determine what additives are required.”
“The water is tested again at the filtration stage, and a final time before the water is loaded onto tanks for delivery to the community. 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.”
Chafa is among the 15 talented entrepreneurs shortlisted from Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe to compete for the Africa Prize for Engineering.
The six sensors in Chafa’s innovation monitor dissolved oxygen, pH levels, temperature, turbidity, hardness and total dissolved solids. The resulting data determines whether an intervention is required.