The Shofco Project

SHOFCO is an NGO based in a Nairobi slum - Kibera. Their main agenda is to empower local communities by providing social amenities and enterprise fund through community saving models.However, they charge a small fee for running water kiosks that they have built all over the slum.

The cash handling in the various Kiosks along with wastage of water due to spillage was a stumbling block hence SHOFCO in partnership with Safaricom, approached Gearbox for a tech solution.

Gearbox, through contracting department, designed a control panel that integrated cashless system that not only eliminates cash handling but also reduced wastage through accurate metering of dispensed water quantities.

The solar powered integrated service management system can dispense water in different volumes depending on the user’s request. The system also has ten USB charging ports which can only be accessed upon request and offers WIFI services. These services are however accessible to users with valid credited accounts.

Every registered user is assigned a unique bar-code ID which is applied in accessing the services as well as recharging the account. A bar code scanner is used in identifying the user. The system then uses this bar-code to retrieve all the information related to the user from the cloud storage. The system further checks if the user account is credited. 

Currently, the project has been piloted in SHOFCO headquarters,Kibera and will scale to other kiosks.