The Sustainable Development Goals have set an agenda for transformational change in water access, aiming for secure household connections globally. Despite this goal, communal groundwater supplies are likely to remain the main source of improved water supplies for many rural areas in Africa and South Asia for decades to come.
Understanding the poor functionality of existing communal supplies remains, therefore, a priority. A critical first step is to establish a sector-wide definition of borehole supply functionality and a standard method of its assessment.
Groundwater plays a central role in Increasing safe water access – particularly in Africa and Asia, but has there are long-running challenges in keeping such supplies working.
“Functionality” is term often used as a measurable indicator of whether a water point is working or not.
The most common definition of “functionality” is a binary “is it working at time of inspection? Yes/No” However, this is just one of six approaches to defining water point functionality.
A tiered assessment is recommended based on flow quantity, quality and downtime period(s) over the previous year
Having a standardised approach to assessing functionality is important to allow data from different locations and different times to be compared so that the deeper, systematic complexities and failures can be better understood and addressed.
Long considered a symbol of development aid, up to 40% of handpumps in sub-Saharan Africa are broken at any one time. Technology is offering smart solutions.
Over the past few decades, the humble handpump has become the go-to option for rural water supply in developing countries. They’re used to extract groundwater which is mostly clean, easy and cheap to access, and available year-round. Handpumps are usually a better option than open wells – which are highly vulnerable to contamination – and piped schemes or motorised pumps, which require the skills, finances, and management that’s often lacking in remote, rural areas.
Jake Carpenter, a consultant and former Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda describes the history, theory and practice of corrosion issues and provides practical solutions for resolving the issue.
Our discussants, Dr Peter Harvey (UNICEF) and Jess MacArthur (iDE) add their comments on why this avoidable problem is still around and in a lively Q&A session, some positive ways forward are discussed.
Although the examples in the presentation are from Uganda, we know that this problem is happening in at least 25 countries in Africa and Asia and many more.
If you would like more information to help inform and influence either your own organisation or those that you know of that are still installing inappropriate materials, then please let us know.
Handpump corrosion has been known about for over 30 years, the fact that it is a common problem in over 25 countries is a scandal and reflects badly on donors, implementers and governments.
In this webinar, Bony Etti and Jacinta Nekesa from WaterAid Uganda describe their shocking findings from investigating boreholes and pumps (as part of the UPGro Hidden Crisis study) some of which have failed or become unusable within 6 months of being installed. Jake Carpenter, a consultant and former Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda describes the history, theory and practice of corrosion issues and provides practical solutions for resolving the issue. Our discussants, Dr Peter Harvey (UNICEF) and Jess MacArthur (iDE) add their comments on why this avoidable problem is still around and in a lively Q&A session, some positive ways forward are discussed.
Le secteur est au courant depuis plus de trente ans des problèmes de corrosion des pompes manuelles. Il est scandaleux que ce problème soit encore récurrent dans plus de 25 pays, et cela nuit à la réputation des financeurs, des chefs de projets et des gouvernements.
Dans ce wébinaire, Bony Etti et Jacinta Nekesa de WaterAid Ouganda présentent les résultats choquants de leur évaluation de forages et de pompes (dans le cadre de l’étude UPGro Hidden Crisis) dont certains sont tombées en panne ou ne sont plus utilisables 6 mois seulement après leur installation. Jake Carpenter, consultant et ancien bénévole des Peace Corps en Ouganda, reprend lui l’histoire, la théorie et les aspects techniques des problèmes de corrosion en général, et propose des solutions simples et pratiques pour les résoudre. Dans la session Questions/Réponses les participants discutent de ces alternatives à mettre en place pour améliorer la situation.
Dans la version anglaise du wébinaire deux intervenants, Dr Peter Harvey (UNICEF) et Jess MacArthur (iDE), apportent aussi des précisions sur les raisons pour lesquelles ce problème pourtant évitable continue d’exister.
The UPGro Hidden Crisis project, led by Prof. Alan MacDonald at BGS, has already made an impact in its first study country – Uganda. Each year, the Ministry of Water and Environment coordinates a Joint Sector Review (JSR) and produces a Sector Performance Report (SPR) which reports on progress in the water and environment sectors and identifies the priorities head.
The 2014 report picked up on the work in the Catalyst phase and the further investigations by WaterAid into the problem of high iron levels in borehole water – largely due to inappropriate pump and pipe materials. The installation of cast iron or galvanised iron materials in acidic groundwater (ph <6.5) is largely preventable but all too common in many areas of the world. It leads to premature failure of the pump and makes the water unpalatable, or even unusable.