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!!

13 thoughts on “Rope pumps Ethiopia, failure or success?

  1. Hello there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post
    reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this.

    I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

    • Dear Penney
      Thanks for asking how things are. Regarding Rope pumps in general things go on. The pump is still being produced in Nicaragua by several small companies although the demand has reduced due to increased electric pumps and Solar pumps. Some of the pumps of 25 years old are still functioning, especially if they are owned by families. In Africa experiences are mixed. Some succes, some failures. Also there the pumps owned by families are maintained. If owned by communities there are similar porblems as other handpumps. A good example of family owned Ropepumps now in Zambia. See also Regards. Henk Holtslag

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