The Social Entreprise concept of the FairWater BluePump


The FairWater BluePump Project is set-up with a "Social Entreprise" concept (SE). The basic idea of a SE is that the main goal of the organzation is not to make a profit, but to develop and distribute products that are specifically solving a social problem. Profits from SE sales are used to pay for basic needs and invested again into improving the product and the service.

The SE concept is rather new in the sector of development aid. NGOs are more used to deal with traditional companies that have a product such as a new 4x4 car, a water testing kit, a drilling machine or a handpump. However, when NGOs deal with such traditional companies, there is always an element of mistrust, because "they" want to make money and "we" want to do good.

Because of this, many NGOs have the tendency to spend as little as possible on hardware, because they don't like the idea that the "commercial" company makes a profit with the social work that the NGO is doing. Often NGOs ask a "special price" because the goods are used for social activities and tenders are mainly judged on price alone and not so much on quality aspects.

On the other hand, NGOs also do understand that companies have to make a profit in order to be able to continue their services and to give for instance a solid garantee on their products. The concept of a "Social Entreprise"  is therefore to make both worlds meet somewhere in the middle of this business process, because after all, they have both the same final objective, which is making the world a bit better, and not alone just doing a job.

Given the fact that I have been many times on both sides of the table, I do understand the arguments from both sides. So I concluded that the SE concept is probaby best suited to scale-up the distribution of the BluePump. 

To develop a reliable handpump is one thing, but to make it a success and widely available is not just "another thing", but a crucial factor to make the product a success. So I needed in the first place a very reliable parter with a good service structure that can secure the quality and delivery with a proper after sale service at all time.

Because I have been working with the company BOODE BV in The Netherlands since my work in Africa as a hydrogeologist since 1985, I have appreciated their quality products and service over the years. So already in the early stage of the development of the BluePump I approached BOODE BV to be the worldwide distributor of the BluePump and to do the distribution and all associated logistics.

With the feedback that we have received over the years, we are convinced that the BluePump is the best option for a community. The BluePump is not the cheapest handpump to buy, but it is certainly the most reliable handpump on the market. Therefore it is widely appreciated by the communities because with a BluePump they have more days with water and spend less money on repairs. That is the main selling point for the BluePump.

If the recurrent cost of a BluePump are compared with any other similar handpump that is cheaper to buy, it becomes clear that withing 3 to 5 years the lower maintenance cost of the BluePump outweights the higher initial purchase cost. This means each year more money on the bank for the community.

The people behind the FairWater BluePump
My name is Paul van Beers, initiator of the FairWater BluePump project. I have a passion for Africa, water and flying. My professional background is a MSc. in Hydrology with specialization on groundwater exploration, remote sensing and geo-physics. After my study the Free University in Amsterdam offered me a job to work as a scientific researcher on coastal groundwater management in South Portugal. Since 1985 I have worked most of the time in rural water supply projects all over Africa, as well in the field as a hydrogeologist and as project manager and country representative for an international NGO.

I worked for Universities, Consultancies, World Bank, Governments and international NGOs in Rural & Peri-Urban Water Supply and lived for many years in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mozambique, Kenya and Angola. I did many studies to rural water supply in Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Chad,  Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Senegal,  South Africa, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania and in Zambia.

With my wife Sureyya Gök, we took up the challenge to introduce this new approach in rural water projects and started the FairWater Foundation in 2009 (NL-34316771) based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Apart from her professional career as Director of Finance of the European Branch of an international company in Amsterdam, she has also a passion for social work. From 2006 to 2013 she was also a municipal councilor in The Netherlands, with a special focus on how to contribute to better conditions for children and elderly people and active in the Multi Ethnical Network for Women (MEV) to empower women with ethnical background.

EEPC sponsored this BluePump for a school in Burkina Faso

Join FairWater and sponsor the rehabilitation of a broken pump with a BluePump 

The FairWater BluePump sponsor program
Because there are more than 150.000 broken handpumps in Africa, the most cost-effective way to help communities and schools is to rehabilitate broken pumps and not to drill new expensive boreholes. A new borehole cost between €10.000 to €20.000, while with a rehabiliation with a FairWater BluePump only cost € 2.500,- all in.

Companies and private persons can sponsor via FairWater a rehabilitation of a broken pump in Africa with a new durable BluePump. These FairWater "Foster" pumps are installed by our partners in Africa, in their on-going projects.

100% to the field
Because the overhead of FairWater is mainly covered by BluePump sales, 100% of the donations are used to install and maintain BluePumps. However, we do not send money, instead donations are used to buy BluePumps from BOODE at a discount and to send them to our parters to be installed in their projects.

For more information about the FairWater Sponsor Program, please visit the FairWater website (CLICK HERE).

Information about Water & Sanitation (WatSan) issues
On our website we also offers easy access to more WatSan information for the industry and specific WatSan products. CLICK HERE to go to

We hope the that the rational of the BluePump and FairWater is more clear to you. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or if you would like to sponsor a BluePump in Africa, or would like to become a FairWater partner and order BluePumps for your projects and start with your own BlueZone in Africa.

"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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Please note
Fairwater has changed early 2010 the name of its handpump design into "BluePump". Initially, we called it "Afripump" but to avoid confusion with the existing Afridev public domain handpump, we do not use that name anymore.