Hand pumps: Once a ‘solution’, now archaic

The 80s, or as we know it, the International Water Decade. Wild hair, trashy music, huge phones - looking back, it all seems so long ago! From cars to fashion, we all agree that the 80s are a bit out of date, and technology has certainly improved. The website you are reading this on, and the rest of the Wide World Web, wasn’t invented until 1989, and wasn’t available to the general public until 1991! You’d think, after nearly four decades, that “solutions” to the water crisis would have improved along with technology. Sadly, hand pumps, archaic by modern standards, are still a common “solution” for many. We believe that, like mullets and tacky action films, hand pumps belong back in the 80s.




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Why? Currently, in Sub-Saharan Africa regions, nearly 51% of hand pumps are non-functional, with every pump requiring maintenance which may cost between £200 and £500 each year. It is only an indication of how many people don’t have access to clean water. These pumps are often made with poor parts that can corrode and contaminate the water, corrupting their initial promise of clean and safe water - given how far technology has come; there has to be a better solution. It seems unfathomable that the best we can do is the same technology from nearly 40 years ago. A vast majority of charities for clean water focus on providing quick solutions using old technologies. Surely there is a better alternative to manually pumping contaminated water with archaic and costly technology? Simply put, there is. Solar water pumps offer an efficient, clean and essentially maintenance-free means of providing water to those who need it most. Sunshine is a limitless resource, it’s everywhere - and in regions such as those in Sub-Saharan Africa, it’s even more plentiful. Conventional pumps will become a problem within 5 years, whilst solar water pumps will help fulfil the promise of clean water for 20 years. The technology for renewable water pumps is available today, which means that every outdated hand pump is unacceptable, and like 51% of hand-pumps in Sub-Saharan Africa, will become non-functional. If we want to meaningfully end the water crisis, we need renewable water pumps now.







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Contrasted with diesel and hand pumps, there isn’t a substitute for solar water pumps. Would you like to engage in rigorous physical activity to receive water? No? Then you probably wouldn’t want a hand pump. Would you like the water pipes to deteriorate and contaminate the water supplies after just 5 years of usage? If your answer is no, then there’s some bad news for diesel pumps. If you believe that water should be automatic, reliable, and clean – then you have chosen solar water pumps. It has been almost 40 years since the great International Water Decade, and the crisis is ongoing, and it will remain ongoing while we use technology older than the World Wide Web. If we want to end the water crisis – once and for all – we must begin using sustainable technology. If you’re tired of donating to help fight the water crisis and seeing no noticeable change; then it's time to look to a new, innovative and modern solution that will change lives permanently, and making sure that fundraising results in a long-lasting change.




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Ingenuity Lab, Ingenuity Centre
University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2TU
EMAIL: tabitha.wacera@sustainablewaterswp.com