|FairWater: durable handpumps for low-cost operation|
FairWater promotes sustainable BlueZones in Africa
FairWater replaces broken down handpumps in Africa with the reliable BluePump. We make BlueZones and support professional local Water Service Providers (WSP) in collaboration with our partner organizations in Africa (Oxfam, UNICEF, IRD, ASAP, CSC, ADRA, Samatarian Purse, etc.).
The FairWater BlueZone approach is straightforward and evidence based; all our projects are presented on this website with the names of the sponsors. Sponsors pay a fixed price of € 2.500,- per BluePump and can have their logo and own page as well.
With the FairWater BlueZone approach, we create safe & sustainable water points that can be maintained at very low cost for the users. At the same time, we create long term jobs in Africa.
Why is funding still needed?
Over 350.000 handpumps have been installed in Africa, but UNICEF/ SKAT data show that in most countries 40% to sometimes up to over 70% of these handpumps are abandoned. Most of the abandoned pumps are so-called "VLOM" pumps made in India. VLOM means that the community should maintain them without external support.
What is the best way forward?
Let the people decide what is best for them ...
What about the MDG's??
It is rather obvious, that as long as you do not solve the key maintenance problems, also these new pumps will be abandoned soon. Statistics are hard to beat, also in Africa. It's all about reliability at low recurrent cost for the users, that creates sustainable water supply. It is not about how much funding you can raise with a flashy fundraising campaign, it is how you use the funding most effective.
Problems are even bigger in deep groundwater. In areas with deeper groundwater the handpump failure rate can be even over 80%. In such zones every drop counts, alternative water points are far away and often polluted. In other words, the situation in Africa becomes more critical every day; most of the water pumps that are still working are only those that are recently installed. The future of rural Africa evaporates and becomes a fata morgana...
... "However, not only has progress been slow, but, more shamefully, many of the constructed services have not continued to work over time"....
... "Thousands of people, who once benefited from a safe drinking water supply, now walk past broken handpumps or taps and on to their traditional, dirty water point. Despite the best intentions, the fact is that we, sector professionals and practitioners, have contributed towards the problem in numerous ways" ...
The same report also highlights the underlying main problem, which is that NGOs have now become experts on fundraising for water aid projects, but have no interest whatsoever to improve and invest in more sustainable solutions. Many NGOs focus on fundraising and business as usual, not on evaluating how they could perform better.
... "Nevertheless, most of us carry on as before. A rehabilitation programme tends to use the same management and maintenance principles and training"....
If water projects continue to impose fragile VLOM pumps, Africa will turn into a handpump graveyard. This would mean that in 2030 NGOs will still ask funding for never ending Water Aid projects.
Why do handpumps break down ?
Statistics show that handpumps in Africa have an average life-time of about 3 to 5 years; This means, that each year about 10.000 handpumps need to be replaced, which is an equivalent loss of funding of about 150.000.000 US$ per year, or nearly 500.000 US$ per day..
Girl showing the main problem; the rubber seal on the plunger ...
The majority of the handpumps that work are from recent projects.
Typical picture: all over Africa you find broken India VLOM pumps
The NGOs just ask again for funding, year after year
FairWater has a solution that works: The BlueZone
The BluePump is extreamly strong and reliable and can be maintained at low-cost without the need for such a critical spare part as a "simple" rubber seal. The BluePump is therefore now considered by international experts as the most suitable and vertile community handpump for Africa for all depth. The BluePump is mainly used in so called "BlueZones", where a professional organization takes care of installation and maintenance. Therefore the BluePump is rapidly becoming popular with the users and with serious NGOs, due to a high water output, light pumping, reliable operation and professional low-cost back up in case of a "Murphy" problem.
Unique innovative Sponsor Concept
This also offers excellent business opportunities for Mobile Phone companies or Banks,
The message can be either screened or painted on the cap or put on the frontside of the pump on a plate that is secured on the cap with 4 rivets.
EEPC advertising on a BluePump for a school in Burkina Faso
The most cost-effective way to help communities with sustainable water supply is to rehabilitate broken down handpumps and not to drill new expensive boreholes. Imagine, to make a new borehole cost between 10.000 to 20.000 US$, but with a rehabiliation, the old borehole can still be used and only the price of the pump and installation needs to be paid.
FairWater therefore has a focus on rehabilitation of abandoned handpumps with the BluePump, on the specific request of active communities that wants their handpump to work and are ready to pay a liitle for a maintenance contract in case of Murphy problems. Depending on the number of users, the average maintenance cost of the BluePump will be less than 10 US$ per family per year.
Information about Water & Sanitation (WatSan) issues
On our watsan.com website FairWater also offers easy access to more WatSan information for the industry and discussion to share and discuss online WatSan topics on the WatSan information pages.
If you want WatSan News or information to share...
go to www.watsan.com
"It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little.
When you pay too much; you lose a little money - that is all.
When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything
because it was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do".
- - -
"The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot
- it cannot be done -. If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to
add something for the risk you run, and if you accept that
you might as well pay some more for something better".
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
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