Lined hand-dug wells


Lined hand-dug wells can be used for communal water supply. Typical depth is between 5-50m. The lining is made of concrete rings or bricks and is applied to overcome collapsing of instable walls. The bottom rings are perforated to allow infiltration. At surface level, apron or slabs are constructed for users and to avoid seepage into well.


Total costs depend mainly on costs for labor and lining (concrete and bricks). A lined, hand-dug well may cost USD3,000-4,000 in Ethiopia. In the Sahel a 20m deep well: USD8200. In Ghana: USD1800-4000.


Managed usually at community-level. A water committee can be set up to supervise O&M activities and collect user fees. External support is advantageous for water quality checks and supporting and supervising users’ organization. Lined hand-dug wells are mostly implemented through NGO’s and governments.


Large diameter wells can be made in most soil compositions which provide either clay (containment) or a permeable layer (quick recharge). Digging is best executed towards the end of the dry season when water table is lowest. Design needs to anticipate on low water levels during droughts. High contamination risk from (e.g. latrines).


Lined, hand-dug wells are best constructed by specialized well builders. Occasional well cleaning and disinfecting needed, just as reparations on apron and lining. Reparations by local mason. Possible to couple to diverse hand-pumps for hygienic and ergonomic use.


Low-income households cannot often afford the construction of a lined, hand-dug well. It is a popular solution amongst farmers and households for multiple use of water. The lowering of lining rings and the digging is a hazardous activity for unskilled workers. Safe water quality can be achieved through household-level chlorination.

Relevant remarks:

No relevant remarks for Lined hand-dug wells.