Community level lift handpumps


Handpumps for communal use, for up to 300 people per device. Designed for heavy-duty applications, pumping water from a depth of 15-40m and sometimes up to 80m. The most known examples include India Mark II, Afridev, Vergnet and Volanta. It is a particularly popular technological method in rural areas of India, Pakistan and Sub-Saharan Africa.


Costs between USD 300-1000. European types (like Kardia and Vergnet) might cost above USD 2000. Price depends on type of pump (direct action or lever pumps) and on specific materials used. Operation & Maintenance related costs are relatively low.


Mostly managed by local water point committees, which supervise caretaker and collect user fees. They need support by state or NGO. In some cases private enterprises, paid by community, responsible for maintenance. Especially for major repairs, trained mechanic is required.


Since water is pumped from medium depth and structure is closed, water quality is expected to be acceptable, but this needs validation at every location. Borehole or well might be periodically over-abstracted, but general decrease in groundwater level not expected.


Main parts of pump located below water table, makes repairs difficult. Small maintenance: greasing, straightening pumprods and replacing bearings, cupseals and washers. Major repairs: replacing plunger, foot valve, cylinder, pumprods, rising mains, handle or fulcrum.


Malfunctioning of pump committees might result in social friction in community. Users might be less willing to pay for the water because they have to pump manually. Water quality checks should make clear whether users need household water treatment.

Relevant remarks:

No relevant remarks for Community level lift handpumps.