The CCAP SMART Centre
Our main activities are demonstrating our SMARTechs and developing the private sector. This is being done by training local entrepreneurs in production and installation of our various SMARTechs. Furthermore, we provide them with training in business skills, provide supply chain development and policy advice.
Our approach encourages Self-supply; a water supply mainly financed by the users themselves. It is estimated that 40% of all communal placed pumps are not working properly. With Self-supply, ownership is ensured. We have started encouraging owners to earn money with their water supply, for example by using the supply to water crops. This means someone is looking after the pump or well and maintaining it, as it is considered a source of income. This contributes toward creating a profit-based sustainability.
Our vision is: ‘Safe water for drinking, water for productive use and sanitation with a focus on people in rural areas in Malawi.’
In rural Malawi, the need for improved water sources and functional sanitation is high. Around 4 million people do not have access to an improved water source, and 7 million do not have sanitation. Population grows rapidly, which increases the need for water and sanitation.
Climate change is affecting rain patterns and thus food production. Rainy season accounts for 95% of the total annual rainfall. With the rainy seasons getting shorter, there is less water available for human consumption and for watering crops. This leads to food shortage.
Innovation in technology and approach is needed to decrease cost and increase sustainability of water and sanitation. The SMART Centre can contribute towards solving these local problems, offer business support services and build up supply chains of market based products.
Stay up to date
Every two months we send out our newsletter, keeping subscribers up to date on our recent projects and developments.
Our core business is training the local private sector in the production and maintenance of SMARTechs. We also provide training in various skills to improve a business and in new innovations. We ask a small contribution from all of our participants and hand out certificates after each training, provided participants have attended the full training.
- Rope Pump installation/maintenance
- Rope Pump production
- Manual drilling (SHIPO and Mzuzu)
- Safety during well construction
- Maintenance of hand pumps (Afridev/MarkV/Canzee/etc.)
- Wire-cement tank construction
- Installation of electrical (solar) pumps and solar panels
- Low cost apron fabrication
- Low cost sanitation (latrines and slabs)
- Business skills
- Use of a computer to improve a business
- Groundwater recharge (3R)
Project guidance and management
With our track record for the SMART approach we have the skills and facilities to test our technologies, ensuring their quality. If you are in need of a well, pump or sanitation solution, feel free to contact us. We can link you to one of our entrepreneurs and help with the development of the project.
- Construction of wells
- Installation of hand pumps
- Installation of solar powered pumps and tank systems
- Quality assurance
Our Centre has a range of various items available for purchase. If you would like to know wether they are currently in stock, feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
- SaFi Water Filters (9L, 21L and ceramic filter element)
- Tulip Water Filter
- Sawyer Water Filer
- Flappers (SatoPan)
- Quality PVC Casings and Fittings
- Spare parts for various pumps
At our Centre in Luwinga, Mzuzu, we have a fully equiped demonstration ground where you can see how all of our SMARTechs work yourself. One of our staff members will gladly show you around and provide you with further information.
- Hand pump models
- Sanitation options
- Latrine pits
- Solar Pump
- Drip irrigation system
What is the SMART Centre?
At the CCAP SMART Centre we are expanding the use of low-cost WASH technologies in Malawi. We provide training for local entrepreneurs in both production and business skills regarding SMARTechs: Simple, Market based, Affordable, Repairable Technologies.
Are there other SMART Centres?
Yes, we are part of a global network through the SMART Centre Group. Currently there are 4 running SMART Centres (Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia) and 1 SMART Centre in establishment (Ethiopia). Within the SMART Centre group, the Centres exchange knowledge and experiences and create leverage. They are coordinated by MetaMeta and supported by NGOs including Aqua for All and the SKAT Foundation. For more information you can visit the SMART Centre Group website.
Where can I find you?
Our Centre is based in Luwinga, in Mzuzu, Northern Malawi. Coming from either the M1 or Ekwendeni, make a turn at the Patroda gas station where you’ll see our first sign-post. For further directions, please take a look on our contact page
What are the different SMART Techs?
We have different technologies available, called SMARTechs; Simple, Market based, Affordable, Repairable Technologies. These SMARTechs include manual well drilling, a range of hand pumps, drip irrigation systems, rain water harvesting, sanitation, groundwater recharge and household water treatment. You can find our full catalogue here, and more information per SMART Tech on our website.
How do you know your approach works?
The Centre has a range of innovative low-cost technologies, and the skills and facilities to test innovations before introducing them to the market. As part of building track record and gathering evidence for the SMART approach, several publications have been published in the past years. You can find some of them in our library, and others on the SMART Centre Group website.
I want one of your SMARTechs in my garden. How does this work?
If you are in need of for example a well, a pump or a latrine, you can get in contact with us. We can link you to one of our entrepreneurs, who will schedule a site visit with you. Upon visiting your site he or she will assess the possibilities. Afterwards, a quotation will be made. Upon agreement we draft up a contract between you and the entrepreneur containing all the details. After signing the contract, the project can start.
Where can I see examples of carried our projects?
We post regularly about our current projects on our website. You can also follow us on social media, or sign up to our newsletter. If you want to see any of our SMARTechs with your own eyes, this is also possible. You are welcome to visit our demo garden in Luwinga, Mzuzu.
What is your role after a project is finished?
To ensure our quality, we take responsibility for the long-term follow-up. Low-cost spare parts are available through our Centre, should anything be replaced or repaired after a certain amount of time. Our entrepreneurs are trained to perform maintenance, and with spare parts available we created a profit-based sustainability.
How can I attend one of your trainings?
Everyone is welcome to contact us if you’re interested to joinone of our trainings. We can provide you with further information on upcoming trainings and assess if you qualify to attend.
When is the next training?
We do not have a set itinerary for our trainings, as we base this on needs and on available funds. If you would like more information, please contact us.
How long is a training?
This depends on the subject. Most of our trainings take two weeks, where we teach a combination of technical and practical skills. We make sure all technical information is applied in the field.
What happens after a training?
If you have attended a full training and participated in the program, you will receive a certificate. You will then be paired to a so called mentor, which is one of our more experienced entrepreneurs. Together with your mentor you will carry out five projects. Afterwards, you are ready to start on your own and become a real entrepreneur. As a member of the SMART Centre you are part of a group that helps and guides each other towards the expansion of low-cost WASH technologies.
Information for donors
Can I support the Centre?
Yes! If you wish to make a donation to contribute towards safe drinking water and hygiene in rural Malawi, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will gladly provide you with the possibilities if you’d like to receive more information before making your donation.
Why do people have to pay for wells or pumps?
We strongly encourage self-supply; referring to water supply mainly financed by the users themselves. A privately-owned water supply can be used by its owner to make a profit as well. Research has shown ownership encourages responsibility, meaning the supply will be maintained better. Also, payment is vital for our entrepreneurs to be able to make a living out of their business.
Can you not just place them for free and pay your entrepreneurs with donor money?
In reality this often leads to lack of ownership, resulting in nobody feeling responsible to maintain the well or pump. Optionally, if we have received a donation, we subsidize the bigger part of the service and product, and only ask for a small amount from the owner. If you would like to read more about this approach, have a look here. We are flexible, so if you have a different approach in mind we can always look at the possibilities together.
- SMART Centre Malawi featured in the Rotary Magazine
- Our local Young Expert James on his adventures abroad
- The SMART Centre Newsletter November 2019
- Peter Kayira
- Faith and Water: training rural communities