• Manual drilling of a new borehole using the SHIPO jetting technology
    Manual drilling of a new borehole using the SHIPO jetting technology

Training the local private sector in
Simple, Market based, Affordable, and Repairable Technologies

The SMART Centre Group

The SMART Centre Group is a group of SMART centres. These Centres are located in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Niger, and Nicaragua. These centres are coordinated by MetaMeta and apply the so called SMART approach which is a combination of:

  1. Innovation. market-based and low cost technologies (SMARTechs)
  2. Training. Build local capacity (women and men) in technical and business skills
  3. Self-supply. Reach the unserved with subsidies, others to invest themselves

With funds of the Dutch-government this approach was recently evaluated by IRC wich indicated that this approach reaches the SDG6.1 target group in small rural communities that are not reached with other delivery models and that it contribute to SDGs for Poverty, Food, Gender and Climate.

Also with a cost of $25/ person for CapEx, reaching SDG6.1 in these situation is 2 to 6 times less than reaching this target group with the conventional approach. The potential of the SMART approach is proven in several African countries and experiences and potential of self-supply is described in the book “Self-supply” and based on decades of field experience with failures but increasingly also success.

Our main principles are:

Quality in technologies

Most SMARTechs are simple but a hard lesson learned is; “Simple is not easy”. Details are important. Products disseminated via a SMART Centre need to be technically sound and approved by the SMART Centre Group.

Quality in training and management

Manuals for and trainers in production, installation etc. should be of good quality. Good management is essential and a SMART Centre should generate income and become self sustaining.


A SMART Centre cooperates with a local partner in each country, agrees with the vision and mission of the SMART Centre Group and cooperates with the other members.

To become a member of the SMART Centre Group, conditions apply;

Recording of the Virtual Side Event UN Water – ‘Supporting Self supply’ – 23 March 2023

SMART WaSH Solutions in times of Corona from TheWaterChannel on Vimeo.


MetaMeta / SMART Centre Group at the COP28

Water & Food was an important topic at the COP28 in Dubai

The senior advisor of the MetaMeta SMART Centre Group (Henk Holtslag) is a Rotarian and was invited by Rotary International to present on 2 game changing water related ideas being;

A. "2with8". Safe water for 2 billion people with $8 billion, so a 1 time $4 grant/person This is possible with HWTS (Household Water Treatment and Safe storage) and especially household water filters. Promising examples include developments in Ethiopia that has a policy to scale Self-supply that includes HWTS. Presentation / One-pager

B. Deep Bed Farming & SMART water solutions

This presentation includes the example of Malawi where over 25.000 farmers apply DBF combined with Regenerative Agriculture and so increase yields of rainfed crops like maize from 2 to 6 tonnes / ha. The government now promotes DBF and likes to scale to 1 million DBF is an option to store water so adapt to climate change. Combined with low cost wells it has much potential to provide "basic water service" (SDG6.1) in rural areas and impact SDGs for poverty, food, gender and work. Also the eternal headache of pump maintenance is largely solved with this approach as proven in  Zambia and other countries. Presentation / One Pager

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RWSN Webinar 20 June: Water for food, for drinking, and for rural development – examples at scale

We recently participated in an RWSN-organised webinar with the title: 'Water for food, for drinking, and for rural development - examples at scale'. Together with Colin Andrews of Tiyeni and Joshua Briemberg of the Nicaragua SMART Centre, Reinier Veldman participated in a discussion on the opportunies for Self-supply in the combination with soil and water conservation, such as Tiyeni's Deep Bed Farming method.

The recording of the webinar is available on the resources page and below.

Presentation - Recording

IRC All Systems Connect

IRC WASH, together with Water for People and Water for Good hosted the All Systems Connect 2023 symposium in The Hague.

The MetaMeta / SMART Centre Group, together with Tiyeni and IWMI contributed through a session titled: 'Scaling self-supply in Africa'. This session evaluated lessons learnt, among others from an IRC evaluation, about supported self-supply as an successful scaling approach to reach SDG6.1 in rural Africa at a cost that is 2-6 times lower than conventional WASH delivery models and simultaneously contributes to SDGs for poverty, food security, gender and climate.

There was a good turn-out and an interactive discussion, following the presentations by Barbara van Koppen (IWMI), Colin Andrews (Tiyeni) and Henk Holtslag (MetaMeta / SMART Centre Group). Lemessa Mekonte of IRC moderated the session together with Aline Saraiva of RWSN.

The presentations of the session and posters presented can be accessed through the Resource Page and after the 'read more'.

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