WASHTech at the IRC symposium in Addis Ababa

WASHTech presentation at Monitoring Symposium

WASHTech, THE project (2011-2013)

With two presentations and a pre-launch side event, WASHTech was well represented at the IRC Monitoring Sustainable WASH Service Delivery symposium. The symposium and side events took place from 9-12 April 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Introducing the TAF

André Olschewski (Skat) and Benedict Tuffuor (TREND Ghana) gave a general introduction to the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) in a special session on the enabling environment. The session included a presentation on another tool, the Sustainability Monitoring Framework developed by the Dutch WASH Alliance.

Both presentations prompted a discussion about the number and variability of sustainability and how all these tools fit together. The presenters stressed that both tools fit in wider thinking around sustainability in the sector. Even though the tools are being developed in parallel, they both attempt to simplify the analysis of complex, variable data.

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Understanding the Technology Assessment Framework (TAF)

Update on WASHtech

WASHTech, THE project (2011-2013)

“Let’s invite WASHTECH to apply the TAF tool on this Household Water Treatment and Storage (HWTS) technology, the communities choices system, to determine whether it needs to be scaled up”. This came up at the 26th edition of the National Learning Alliance Platform meeting, which recently took place in Accra on theme, Household Water Treatment and Storage Strategy in Ghana.

Members of the WASHTech learning alliance at the meeting had to respond by further explaining and updating stakeholders on the project and the TAF. Abu Wumbei of the WASHTech Ghana team explained that the TAF was indeed a tool that could be used to assess the said HWTS technology, but that the tool was currently being tested on some selected technologies; and that these will enable the fine-tuning of the tool to suit the local situation and context. Thereafter, according to him, the tool will be in full operation; owned…

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Assessing the potential of solar powered pumping for domestic water supply in Uganda

Update from Uganda on testing the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) as part of the WASHtech project

WASHTech, THE project (2011-2013)

In Kanungu district of south western Uganda, the Technology Applicability Framework  (TAF) work was used to assess the potential of solar powered water pumping in the country.The exercise involved representatives from the Ministry of Water and Environment, Technical Support Units (TSUs),Kanungu district local governments, local NGOs, research institutions, private sector enterprises and beneficially communities. The assessment was based on the following dimension: social acceptance of the technology in the community, environmental dimension, and affordability of the technology by community members, skills and knowhow.

Solar powered pumping for domestic supply has great potential in Uganda if the following issues are adequately addressed:

  • Scheme operators and beneficially communities should provide adequate security measures to protect solar panels from theft. In addition, communities using solar water powered pumps and bore holes should be able to access loans from banks or financial institutions for replacement of highly expensive scheme components in the event of…

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Rural water supply for all, forever: Can Nicaragua become an example?

by H. Holtslag  J. de Jongh

Of the 780 million people worldwide without an improved water source some 80% live in rural areas. In sub-Saharan countries some 35% of the rural water points are not functioning. A country with a remarkable and sustainable increase in rural water supply is Nicaragua. This country has 6 million people of which some 43% live in rural areas. With development aid an innovative low cost hand pump was introduced in 1987.  By 1995 this pump became an integral part of rural water programmes of NGOs and government agencies. Rural water supply coverage between 1987 and 1995 doubled from approximately 27.5% to 54.8%. Of this  27.3%, rope pumps account for 23.6% (85% of the total increase). *

Now, 25 years later the situation is:

  1. Over 70.000 rope pumps on boreholes and hand dug wells. Cost /pump 70-150 US$
  2. Besides handpowered also pedal, horse, engine and wind powered models developed
  3. Some 10 workshops produce the pumps and another 8 outlets sell the pump
  4. 10 to 20% of the pumps are used for communal supply, the rest for self supply
  5. Even pumps that are given away in general remain working
  6. The scaling up is also thanks to the government who made it a national standard pump
  7. Most pumps are funded by Government or NGOs, some 30% is paid by private families
  8. Over 90% of the all pumps are working (Evaluation of IRC) ** This high % is explained by its repairability. (Simplicity, Low cost, decentralised production, spares available )
  9. The maintenance consist of replacement of the rope and pistons and oiling bushings
  10. The shift from imported piston pumps like Indian Mark 2 to locally produced rope pumps increased the rural water supply 3 x faster than countries without the ropepump
  11. The number of imported piston pumps has reduced to less than 2% of all hand pumps
  12. The rope pump is now by far the most used technology for rural water supply
  13. In some areas families now get piped systems or get electricity and buy an electric pump but most families will still use the rope pump for cattle watering or irrigation
  14. A market for 200.000 more handpumps (study Water & Sanitation Program, Worldbank)
  15. Even 8.000 $ boreholes of 70 meters deep are equipped with 140 $ rope pumps!
  16. All this goes on since 1998 without any NGO or external advisors involved
  17. A study of effects of water for rural families (5015 families studied) concluded

– a well increases incomes of small farmers with 30%

– a rope pump on that well increases again average incomes with $220/year **

The total investment in these pumps was USD1 million in training etc and some USD8million in pumps. The result is an increase of the GNP of USD100 million since 1990 due to family rope pumps.  There is much to improve on both pump quality and installation and some workshops make bad pumps but the pumps work and generate income for producers and users. The development in the rural area is notable and rope pumps are a step on the water ladder.

Nicaragua is an example that, where water levels are less than 50 meters and low cost wells can be made,  the rural water supply can increase drastically at investment costs of 5 to 15US$/capita.   What is possible in Nicaragua seems possible in many other countries.


* Alberts, H. 2004 The rope pump: An example of technology transfer. Waterlines 22(3), 22–25.

* Alberts. H.,Zee. J van der (No date). A multi sectoral approach to sustainable rural water supply in Nicaragua: The role of the rope handpump. Available on www.ropepump.com. www.ropepumps.org

** IRC 1995 Nicaraguan experiences with rope pump. http://www.washdoc.info/docsearch/title/113703

*** Zee. J.v.d Field study involving 5025 families in Nicaragua, CESADE/ICCO

Publication “Smart Water Solutions” of Netherlands Water Partnership. Other booklets in the Smart serie on

Sanitation, Water harvesting Hygiene, Finance and Disinfection www.akvo.org , www.irc.org or www.nwp.nl

Update from the WASHtech project

WASHTech, THE project (2011-2013)

Sustainable WASH services can only be achieved if the technology used to provide services is sound enough for the specific context. Too often, however, water and sanitation services stop because the WASH technology no longer functions or is too complicated for the context which it’s in. New WASH technologies are promising successful solutions but are often not considered.

WASHTech, an action-research project, is developing and testing processes and tools to perform context-specific validations of potential WASH technologies. WASHTech also aims to successfully introduce the validated technologies into certain contexts such as countries, districts, or sub-districts.

Come and be part of this pre-launch on Friday 12 April 2013 from 09:30 – 11:00 hrs and learn how the “Technology Applicability Framework” and the “Technology Introduction Process” can help you achieve sustainable WASH services.

Register for this session here

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WASHTech Burkina : le développement participatif d’un outil d’évaluation des technologies d’eau et d’assainissement

Add your thoughts here… (optional)

WASHTech, THE project (2011-2013)

Des constats

Le secteur de l’eau et l’assainissement n’est pas à court de technologies nouvelles et émergentes, promues par le secteur privé ou les ONG et les bailleurs de fonds. Avant même d’être adoptées dans les stratégies nationales, ces technologies sont largement reprises  par le secteur privé et intègrent nos villes et villages.

Conséquence : La contribution des nouvelles technologies pour l’atteinte des Objectifs du millénaire pour le développement (OMD) est insignifiante. Un des obstacles majeurs à la réalisation des objectifs du secteur apparaît être l’absence de systèmes pour évaluer le potentiel d’une technologie et le manque de capacité à mettre de nouvelles technologies appropriées à l’échelle de manière efficace. WashTech propose un outil innovant pour évaluer les technologies dans un contexte spécifique. D’une durée de 36 mois, WAHTech est un Projet de recherche sur un procédé innovant pour évaluer le potentiel et la viabilité d’un large éventail des technologies…

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Sustainable water services take ‘Water & Health’ Conference by storm

Dr Grace Oluwasanya, Federal University of Agriculture, Nigeria presenting on “Water User’s Perception to Health Impacts: Implications for Self Supply Water Safety Plans”

I was lucky enough to attend this year’s Water & Health Conference at the University of North Carolina. I was even luckier to make it as the skirts of Hurricane Sandy swept up the Atlantic coast before crashing into the American North East.

It was a great opportunity to meet, face-to-face, many RWSN members who have been communicating with online and meet a whole bunch of new people. It was really inspiring to hear their stories and find out more about their organisations and research. Here are just some of my highlights from the event:
Continue reading “Sustainable water services take ‘Water & Health’ Conference by storm”

Sustainability of solar water pumping in Uganda

Latest news from WASHTech project in Uganda: http://www.rural-water-supply.net/en/projekts/details/56

WASHTech, THE project (2011-2013)

    This video highlights steps of using the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) to assess the potential solar powered water pumping for domestic supply in Kanungu district of south western Uganda

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    Deuxième test du TAF : les acteurs du secteur eau et assainissement du Burkina passent les technologies d’assainissement : VIP et EcoSan à l’épreuve du TAF

    News from Burkina Faso on the WASHTech project

    WASHTech, THE project (2011-2013)

    En sortie terrain du 05 au 09 septembre  2012, l’équipe du projet WASHTech Burkina font passer les technologies d’assainissement : VIP et EcoSan à l’épreuve du Technology Applicability Framework (TAF).
    L’équipe de recherche a rencontré des partenaires étatiques (Direction Régionale de l’Agriculture et de l’hydraulique du Centre Ouest et l’ONEA), communales ( la commune urbaine de Koudougou)  associatives (action Micro-barrage et agro action), des maçons, des artisans, des bénéficiaires de ces technologies, tous engagés qui dans le développement,  qui  dans la promotion des latrines EcoSan ou VIP.  

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