Water is important for all of us. In western countries, good quality water is normally available on tap and we easily use 100 to 200 liters a day. But in rural Africa this is different.
In these small towns and villages, people have no water from a tap. The main source of water is often a handpump in a well. This water is used for drinking, cooking, washing and for some agriculture and livestock. Many projects constructed these wells with handpumps over the last 20 years and people were happy in the beginning.
However, sustainability of the water source is becoming a serious issue in rural Africa.
Over 350.000 water pumps are donated, but now many of them are not working anymore!
A recent RWSN report 4, May 2010 indicated that most these donated pumps on average are abandoned within 3 to 5 years.
RWSN concluded that water projects should be more open to change their approach and focus more on sustainability. A first and important step, would be to use more reliable handpumps, even when this would cost a bit more in the beginning. However, most projects continue to install cheap & fragile handpumps without a proper maintenance concept. FairWater rings a bell and also proposes a more sustainable alternative.
The issue on the table is this: Without a reliable water source, the rural areas will have major constraints and many people have no other option than to move towards towns. Obviously this will create even more problems. Especially women and children, who are often send out to fetch water, will be affected. Basic human rights and dignity will be violated.
Conclusion: Rural Africa needs urgently reliable handpumps that can easily maintained at low cost.
FairWater aims at development through affordable, sustainable & safe water supply.
When a handpump breaks down, the expensive well is still usuable. Therefore, we concluded that first of all, the best and most effective way is to use these good wells and simply strat with replace all handpumps that are now broken down by a stronger and more reliable handpump, the FairWater BluePump. We do this for a standard price of € 2.500,- per installation. Rehabilitation is easy and done withing a day.To compare; a new well with a new pump would cost 5 to 10 times more and with all the extra work this may takes 6 month to 1 year to complete.
To help the people to maintain their new BluePump in a sustainable way, we introduced the “BlueZone” concept. A BlueZone is a region that has a professional support for installation and maintenance of the water points from a competent and reliable local company for a fair price. The BlueZone concept is a simple solution that can easily be scaled up at € 2.500,- for each broken down handpump. It’s not expensive, but it is sustainable and makes people happy.
The BlueZone concept has been implemented by FairWater already in several African countries and we aim to colour Africa Blue. We think that the people deserve this and with the right approachand a reliable handpump, it’s not that difficult after all! It is our experience that once a BlueZone has started and old handpumps are replaced by the BluePump, nearby communities want to be connected and ask for sustainable BluePumps as well. This is the good news, there is hope. It is now just a matter of using available funding in a more sustainable and cost-effective way. Start with rehabilitations, no time to waist!
Why BlueZones involves the private sector?
FairWater believes that water projects in Africa should not be just “charity” to help poor people for a few years. Instead, water projects must be set-up as a serious investment for the future. Over 25 years of experience in Africa has shown, that rural communities need reliable waterpumps, but don’t want to be involved with repairs.
At the same time, the local private sector is there to be involved in installation and maintenance of the pumps. Its is just a matter of matching demand for water with supply of professional expertise to create a sustainable process.
What is so special about the Dutch BluePump?
– very reliable and simple, with a maintenance free pump system
– cheap to maintain: operating cost less than 5 to 10 US$ per family per year;
– long lasting: > 15 years;
– easy to repair in case of a problem, no complicated spare parts needed;
– supported by a professional back-up from the private sector;
– able to pump from up to 100m deep.
Over 400 BluePumps already provide safe & sustainable water supply to > 250 communities (> 150.000 people) for a Fair Price!
Fairwater basics are: “Be faithful in the least to be rewarded in the much” (Luke 16:10).
We say: “every drops counts” in stead of “it’s just a drop in the ocean”. In addition to that, we promote awareness and a “water-wise” attitude for all.
Specifically, we strongly support the JoinThePipe.org project which is about promoting the use of tap-water whenever possible in stead of creating more environmental problems by the use of bottled water.
FairWater is evidence based, results count; It’s about what people show by actions and not what they say. This starts for instance with closing the tap while brushing your teeth.
Sponsor a FairWater BluePump in a BlueZone
For every € 2.500, – we replace a broken down handpump with a BluePump in one of our BlueZones. Companies and individuals can sponsor or pre-finance our work. If you do so, you can see your own pump on this website with our unique “Track & Trace” concept.
Typical FairWater sponsors are companies and persons that are:
– nice people that are involved with, and care for the environment in general;
– aware of the importance of durable water supply, also for the people in Africa;
– want to know what happens with their funding;
– want results that last and that can be maintained.
one at the time, together
we can change the world …