Sierra Leone: Umar Bolokada Mansaray provides clean drinking water through Smart H2O

By : Hikmatu Bilali

Date : mardi, 25 juillet 2023 16:20

Last updated : lundi, 31 juillet 2023 14:38

The computer scientist uses programming tools to find lasting solutions that will help his community and country as a whole.

Umar Bolokada Mansaray is a Sierra Leonean entrepreneur and self-taught computer scientist with expertise in front-end, mobile development, and UI/UX design. He co-founded Smart H2O in 2022.

Smart H2O aims to revolutionize water purification using computer programming tools. With his startup, Bolokada won the Community Mining Innovation Challenge the same year.

Umar Bolokada grew up in eastern Sierra Leone, a mining region with abundant natural resources. However, due to mining activities, the region was plagued with significant water pollution, and consequently, people in the area had low access to clean and safe drinking water. Bolokada, therefore, felt a deep responsibility to solve this problem and help his people.

Smart H2O works on building an advanced system using Arduino (an open-source electronic prototyping platform) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to detect and purify polluted water. By employing cutting-edge technology, the system can rapidly analyze water samples, identify contaminants, and apply appropriate purification methods. This process proves to be more efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly compared to conventional purification techniques.

The turning point in Bolokada's journey came in late 2022 when he “was introduced to the Orange Fab lab through a supportive friend and mentor.” This incubation by Orange Fab proved to be a game-changer, “providing vital resources, mentorship, and access to a wide network of experts and investors,” he revealed. This support accelerated Smart H2O's development, enabling Bolokada and his team to refine their algorithms, conduct real-world tests, and expand their research in regions facing water contamination challenges.

Though at its infancy stage currently, Bolokada “aims to reach many communities and expand beyond Sierra Leone in the coming years.”

Before founding Smart H2O, Bolokada had launched another startup called Kam Rent Ya in 2020, which aimed to simplify the rental process for housing seekers. Available on the web and mobile, the solution helps users find and rent properties remotely.

Beyond his entrepreneurial ventures, Bolokada worked as a UI engineer for Women Power Africa, an organization advocating for gender equality, in 2020. The following year, he founded Her Choice, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women and girls. Umar Bolokada Mansaray exhibits genuine leadership and innovation, poised to drive substantial transformation in the domains he operates within.

Hikmatu Bilali


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