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.
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!!
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 www.ropepumps.org
Rope pumps FAQs 20-11-2013 .doc
Sustainable Water supply. Nicaragua 15-5.doc
The Rope pump. 40 yrs experience. 10-10-13 .doc