Women-led companies partner to develop and deploy app to tackle global failure rate
Well Aware, an award-winning international nonprofit, in partnership with Well Beyond, a for-profit technology company for the water sector, today announced the general availability of the Well Beyond App. The app is the first and only patent-pending diagnostics and maintenance app developed to ensure long-term success for water projects. The app was created because despite thousands of nonprofits working to provide clean water in Africa, 60% of water wells fail. Now, two women-led businesses join forces to change this.
Well Aware has been providing water systems to impoverished communities in East Africa for over 12 years with great success. In fact, 100% of the organization’s wells and rainwater systems are still functioning today. Founder Sarah Evans stated, “It’s been humbling to learn from our partner communities, and to see them prosper over the years. The team at Well Aware is committed to each and every water system, and I’m so proud of how we continue to improve as more technology resources become available.”
Mobile tech and Wi-Fi connectivity have seen significant growth in developing countries, providing an opportunity for the founders, Sarah Evans and Kathryn Bergmann, to create Well Beyond, a subsidiary of Well Aware. The Well Beyond app further supports partner communities without using any contributions from donors of the nonprofit.
“Seventy percent of Sub-Saharan Africa has Wi-Fi coverage already, and that access will continue to increase”, says Kathryn Bergmann, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Well Beyond. “Nonprofits and governments are struggling to keep water systems working, and no one has tapped into the rapidly expanding internet and mobile availability to fill the information and expertise gap. Enter Well Beyond. With over a decade of experience keeping water systems running, we now have the tool to deliver our successful model directly to the people actually using the system. Our goal is to change the sector-wide failure rate with this new technology.”
The app was designed for community members to maintain and diagnose water systems, allowing them to solve issues on their own. In addition to keeping the wells up and running indefinitely, the new tool also aggregates valuable data on how the water systems are used, providing indicators of community-led success.
BENEFITS OF THE WELL BEYOND APP:
- Significant savings in repairs and travel costs for both NGOs and the communities
- Communities do not have to wait days or weeks for repairs without their only source of water
- Fully functional offline where internet is unreliable
- 24-hour remote chat support with Well Aware and Well Beyond experts overseas
- Program impact reporting to donors increases trust and transparency
For example, in Lakipia County in Kenya, a repair that would have taken two weeks and cost several hundred dollars was completed in just under two hours by the community water committee at no expense to them.
In addition to fixing and maintaining water wells, the Well Beyond app also deploys interactive WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) trainings, one of which provides information and support for feminine hygiene and reproductive health. A traditionally taboo topic, women can now take ownership of their own health without barriers.
“As women in international development, we share an understanding of community dynamics in rural, developing areas, and we know that the women not only carry the burden of their families’ health and safety, but they are also the most likely to take action to improve it,” said Well Aware’s Executive Director, Kareece Sacco. “We are thrilled to be able to further empower these women with the Well Beyond app.”
Well Aware is the first adopter of this game-changing new technology, and Well Beyond has a growing queue of other clients, profits from which will go back to Well Aware to increase funding for new water wells.
“We are enabling Well Aware to scale more rapidly by trimming drive time and more efficiently making repairs with significant cost savings. We are doing that through this innovative nonprofit and for-profit partnership, leveraging both donor dollars and seed funding (separately) to make a huge impact fast. One billion people still await clean water access. We have to speed up our work,” said Evans.
ABOUT WELL AWARE:
Austin-based, international 501(c)3 nonprofit Well Aware builds sustainable clean water systems in East Africa to drive development and empower communities. To date, Well Aware has implemented over 80 projects and provided lasting clean water to more than 275,000 people across Kenya and Tanzania. With their technical expertise and community-driven approach, Well Aware continues to maintain a 100% success rate across all of their water projects — setting a new standard for efficiency and sustainability in the water aid sector.
ABOUT WELL BEYOND:
Well Beyond is a women-owned and operated consulting and technology company serving the water sector to improve rural water supply worldwide. A social enterprise subsidiary of Well Aware, Well Beyond is leveraging technology and expertise to close the accountability gap in international water charity. Co-founders Sarah Evans and Kathryn Bergmann have a combined 20+ years of experience in the international development sector.
Method for Well Aware