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Pumping it up

Published on: 06/05/2014

A diesel or electrically-powered pump provides a step up the technology ladder for rural households with a family well. The main reason for investing is often to irrigate crops, but the water uses and benefits are multiple.

Mechanised pumps on family wells are an increasingly popular way of upgrading Self-supply family wells: we call it families moving up the technology ladder. The pumps make more water available at higher discharges in a more convenient way than other lifting mechanisms. Farmers are especially eager to self-initiate and invest wherever they see business opportunities and have access to shallow groundwater. Such investment is often driven by irrigation requirements of high value cash crops such as qat in Eastern Hararghe (Oromia Region), and horticulture like vegetables and seedlings of pepper and coffee in Gurage Zone (e.g. Meskan district) in SNNPR.

This MUStRAIN case study discusses some of the factors currently driving the uptake of mechanised pumping by farmers and rural families. It also discusses opportunities: possible practices to improve the water quality of water from such wells which is often used for drinking, improving access to credit and providing more coordinated support. 

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