Water & Sanitation


Many villages in Zambia do not have adequate toilets. Without toilets, it is extremely easy for food and water to become contaminated with insects and animals moving freely between human waste and food. Contaminated food and water lead to all kinds of nasty diseases, like diarrhea and cholera, particularly in children.

In fact, according to the WHO*, diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old. Each year diarrhea kills around 760,000 children under five. It is also a leading cause of malnutrition in children under five years old.

But diarrheal diseases are both preventable and treatable, and a significant proportion of diarrheal disease can be prevented through safe drinking-water and adequate sanitation and hygiene.

A mother and child stand next to their newly-improved latrine

Our Solution

Mobile phone reporting is paving the way to more robust data.

Akros teamed with the Zambia Ministry of Water, Sanitation, and Environmental Protection (formerly the Ministry of Local Government and Housing) and UNICEF Zambia to create an innovative mobile phone system that will show, on a monthly basis, exactly which villages do not have adequate latrines. Using this information, UNICEF, Akros and Zambian government stakeholders can specifically assist these villages to increase the number of their latrines, thus impacting their health. The system also now tracks water access monitoring, thus allowing the Ministry to fully understand each village’s access to functional protected water sources.

In 2018, Akros fully transitioned this system over to the ownership of the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Environmental Protection. At that time, Akros had supported the Ministry to scale to 70 districts; since that time, the Ministry has continued to add districts. There are now more than 100 districts in the system. Having quality information shared this rapidly from such a large geographic footprint was impossible prior to the Akros initiative. However, now government stakeholders can make highly informed decisions using very precise data. As the largest UNICEF WASH partner in Zambia, Akros is proud to have added such tremendous value to Zambia and the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Environmental Protection.