Farewell MSABI from Katie

 

Three months ago, I arrived at MSABI to begin a short internship funded by the Scott-Stone Foundation. It feels bit a like I only started last week, but sadly now it’s time for me to leave the MSABI team.

My main focus over the last three months has been the water kiosk project. I’d hoped that we would have the kiosk up and running before I left, but due to unexpected delays in both construction and procurement, I think we’re still at least two or three weeks away from the opening date. However, the kiosk itself has come along in leaps and bounds – the structure and tank stand (including the tanks) are now up, as is the surrounding fence and gates. The plumbing is completed and the filter connected. The filter is a SkyHydrant, donated by the SkyJuice Foundation, which is designed to remove bacteria, pathogens and protozoa which is bigger than .04 micron. It’s been used in emergency response, but also in similar kiosks in Kenya, and can provide water for 500-1000 households.

The kiosk will hopefully cater to a wide audience – not just homes in the immediate vicinity, but will also provide cheap water to the nearby St Francis Hospital, and the university. The kiosk will sell bottled water, in both 1L and 12L bottles, and will also offer water refills at the kiosk taps. Customers can fill their own container for a few hundred shillings (the current exchange rate is 1$:1708TSH). We’ve intentionally set prices low to make the kiosk competitive, and at the moment, the kiosk is being subsidized by MSABI, although in time, we hope it will make a profit. At that stage, the idea is that the kiosk will be handed over to the local school or kiosk workers who can run it as a small business.

I’ve been looking over the business model, budgets and marketing strategies in the last while, have had a hand in procurement and have spent time at the construction site itself, helping to decipher the construction manual. As I say, the construction part of the project is now nearly done, and I’ll be interested to see how well received the kiosk is, and the amount of sales that are generated.

Otherwise, whilst I’ve been at MSABI, the staff have been kind enough to take me on a few field trips to see drilling, casings and the education team in action. I've been able to get a good understanding of all the different MSABI projects and have certainly now got a much better understanding of WaSH as a whole.

It’s been a fun few months, and I’m sad to be leaving Ifakara and MSABI. It’s been a very interestingplace to work, and everyone here has been very welcoming. I hope to stay in touch with MSABI and see how the projects are progressing – not least the water kiosk! I wish all the MSABI team the best for the future.

Katie Ryland