Maai Makwa is an open source, open data and public domain project from The Demography Project, Kenya, and it’s the outcome of our fifth TICTeC subgrant.
Our fifth Civic Tech Surgery discussed the question of how the civic tech community can learn from, and contribute to, climate action, to drive impactful societal change. The subsequent working group commissioned The Democracy Project to establish Maai Makwa (indigenous Kikuyu language for My Water): a water quality and quantity monitoring project integrated with practical civic education to empower individuals, households and communities in Kenya to participate in freshwater conservation and sustainable water resource exploitation.
Kenya is classified as a chronically water-stressed country by the United Nations. Population growth, growing agricultural water use, frequent droughts and mains supply disruptions all increase the difficulties of accessing and preserving water.
Through this project, the Demography Project have developed:
- An interactive Water Cost Calculator to enable Kenyans to understand the full cost of water services from all 81 water companies in the country
- A compilation of national and local water laws and regulations
- In-person forums in vulnerable communities to help them understand water rights and contribute to water conservation
- A real-time Water Distribution calendar
- Collaborations with higher education institutions, recruiting eight student climate champions who conducted field research on water supplies in their regions and authored stories on their findings
- The deployment of low-cost, compact, modern meteorological kits and water monitoring devices to communities
The project was showcased at World Wetlands Day celebrations, and collaborations with local youth groups recognised by a visit from the President of Kenya, Dr William Ruto.
As a result of this work the Demography Project have entered into fourteen partnership/ membership agreements with local and global organisations working in freshwater conservation and youth networking. They continue to develop the project, with plans in progress to translate the content and tools into local languages.
We’re impressed by this extensive set of outcomes and we hope that it will help bring about solutions for the water issues of the region.
To find out more about Maai Mawka: