Malawi SMART Centre at the Rotary Convent in Sydney

One of the activities I am involved in is
Water training centres or so called SMART Centres
These centres have a range of new
low cost technologies and capacity to train
local entrepreneurs in production, marketing etc.

In Malawi a SMART Centre started at the University
of Mzuzu in 2012. The Dutch organisation
Connect International supports with technical advice and
funds come from Aqua 4 all and Rotaries clubs from the
Netherlands and USA.

To demonstrate the activities of this centre and to
investigate interest for support, we presented this
project at the Rotary Convent, a yearly event that this
time was in Sydney. Visitors of the stand were amazed
by the simplicity of the Rope pump of which there was a
working model. Also other technologies like a
water filters were shown.
The project concept "Assist a village,

(3000US$ for a water point and training)
was well received, so we hope that Rotaries or others
will support this.

Rope pumps Ethiopia, failure or success?

The introduction of Rope pumps there started in 2004.
Several organisations trained the local companies and by
2014 there are some 10.000 Pumps in small communities and
at families. However some 50% of the pumps are not working!

1 Technical problems

Errors in the pump and installation so water leaks back into the well.

2 Non technical problems
Untrained workshops made bad "cat" copies of the pump,
A lack of long term follow up on quality of workshops
NGOs and government distort the market. They buy, give away and
install the pumps so there is no link between user and producer.

Despite problems the Ethiopian government still is interested.
The Japanese Aid organisation JICA was asked to assist

in improving the Rope pump, and via the Dutch
organisation MetaMeta I am involved as an advisor.
With local pump specialists we work to improve the existing
Rope pump model and also propose 2 new lower cost models.

Ethiopia has ambition to fast scale up rural water supply
via hand dug or handdrilled wells and……. Rope pumps
In May 10.000 new pumps were ordered to be sold via
micro credits!. If lessons from the past 10 years are
learned the Rope pump can become a success!
The ambition is there!!

70.000 Rope pumps in Nicaragua

Recently I was back in Nicaragua where we (my wife Gerda
and children Chris and Sita). lived for 11 years
It is the country where the commercial approach of the Rope pump started
in 1990. Technology was improved and local workshops were trained in
production, installation and…. marketing.

Now there are some 70.000 pumps produced by local workshops
Some 50.000 Rope pumps are used by families and the accumulated

incomes of all families was 100 Million US$ over the last 12 years.
Due to time savings, less health related cost and productive uses families
that have a pump on their well earn 220US$/yr. more than families who
draw water from their well with a rope and a bucket.

Rope pumps supply over 40% of the rural water supply and
its introduction has reduced cost by 60% as compared to imported
Piston pumps. Repairs are simple and low cost and spares are
available because of the local private sector who is producing.
A "profit based sustainability"

Since some 10 years this goes on without any development
organisation. Pump producers sell to government, NGOs and private families.
With a Rope pump they climb the water ladder and generate income.
Could Nicaragua become an example of a sustainable water supply?
More information on

Rope pumps FAQs 20-11-2013 .doc

Sustainable Water supply. Nicaragua 15-5.doc

The Rope pump. 40 yrs experience. 10-10-13 .doc

Nexus, Water, Food, Climate change

In March I was at the Nexus conference in the US on
Water, Food, Climate change and Energy.

Alarming numbers, and steep curves on all themes!!

The world faces shortages of water and Food and
it is the poor who will suffer most
form climate change

An inspiring p
resentation was of IFAD
The 500 mln small farmers who already produce 70% of all food,
have much potential to drastically increase the food production.
One condition to increase this production is……WATER
Affordable irrigation all year round and new low cost options on
wells, pumps rainwater harvesting can increase access to WATER.

I presented something on Self-supply with a focus on productive uses.

See attaches

Self-supply. Promising opt. water, food 1-3-2014.doc


On April 30 the Prince or Orange becomes the new King of the Netherlands. There is an initiative called “My dream for the Netherlands” With Jan de Jongh we made a water dream called “Water King”. We hope that our country, more than now, becomes a leader in solving world waterproblems. We have knowledge from Delta works and Polders to low cost technologies like hand pumps and water filters that are fit to reach the so called “Base of the Pyramid”. An example is Nicaragua. 20 years after a water project there the country is full with rope pumps, 90% works and the extra income with these pumps is over 100 Million US$. This was started by Dutch NGOs. With large scale knowledge transfer we hope that the Netherlands will be active in reaching the goal of safe and enough water for all even before 2050. It would make the Water Prince a Water King! If you like the dream, vote on Click on “Steun deze droom” and then on your social media. With enough votes this dream will be part of a idea book for the new King.              Malawi. Waterfilter. 12-15 EuroNederland.  Delta werkenCheers

Toilet Crises

Full latrine pit 100_2837In August I looked at the Water and sanitation situation in primary schools in Nairobi and Kisumu. The situation was dramatic. Schools with 2000 children had little water, only 7 working toilets and no handwash facilities. Of the 100 toilets I saw, over 90% were badly constructed with square dropholes instead of key holes so urine splashed over feet of children. In short a real TOILET CRISES.  To improve this situation 3  important activities are; 1e Training, 2e Training, 3e Training.  With the organisation ARC (Alliance of Religion and Conservation) we hope to start to work on this in 2013.