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Keeping community managed handpump systems going

Investigating why handpumps fail, and asking that question at too general a level, may be less useful than asking the more positive question, ‘What does it take to keep handpumps working?’ and applying that question to the specific circumstances of each individual water point. This paper takes such an approach, first proposing a framework of elements that need to be in place for continued handpump functioning, then turning this into a diagnostic device for assessing the health of individual water points. The diagnostic instrument needs to be modified for the local context and applied with intelligence. The paper is based on an extensive but unsystematic body of field experience, observations and discussions, and so stands open to the charge of being insufficiently evidence-based. To address this I propose that the framework be tested using the large data sets on functionality that are emerging from academic research projects. Overall, the framework represents an improvement over analyses that merely list the well-known contributors to breakdown, long-term non-functionality and eventual abandonment of water points. Finally a simplified and memorable model (“4M”) is used to summarise the major points.

TitleKeeping community managed handpump systems going
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsCarter, R.
Secondary TitleAll systems go! WASH Systems Symposium, The Hague, the Netherlands, 12-14 March 2019
Pagination10 p.: 2 fig.
Date Published03/2019
PublisherIRC
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Publication LanguageEnglish
Keywordsafrica, handpumps, sustainability
Abstract

Investigating why handpumps fail, and asking that question at too general a level, may be less useful than asking the more positive question, ‘What does it take to keep handpumps working?’ and applying that question to the specific circumstances of each individual water point. This paper takes such an approach, first proposing a framework of elements that need to be in place for continued handpump functioning, then turning this into a diagnostic device for assessing the health of individual water points. The diagnostic instrument needs to be modified for the local context and applied with intelligence. The paper is based on an extensive but unsystematic body of field experience, observations and discussions, and so stands open to the charge of being insufficiently evidence-based. To address this I propose that the framework be tested using the large data sets on functionality that are emerging from academic research projects. Overall, the framework represents an improvement over analyses that merely list the well-known contributors to breakdown, long-term non-functionality and eventual abandonment of water points. Finally a simplified and memorable model (“4M”) is used to summarise the major points.

Disclaimer

The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.