The hand pump maintenance approach and other WASH activities

Malawi has an estimated population of 15.8 million of which 80% live in rural areas and generally practice subsistence, rain-fed agriculture.

Map maintenance90% of improved rural water supplies in Malawi are boreholes or shallow wells equipped with hand pumps, vast majority are Afridev pumps, and some Malda in certain districts…). There are few piped gravity fed schemes (GFS).

Coverage of improved water supplies in rural Malawi is estimated to be 84% (UN Statistics Division – MDG indicators). However, it is estimated that 30% of the improved rural water points are not functioning, thus effective coverage is reduced to 60%. see also here

To improve this functioning ratio, some Operation and Maintenance (O&M) have been undertaken in Malawi since 1999. Maintenance can be differentiated between rehabilitation, repairs, or preventive maintenance (servicing)  – see dedicated note on Pratiques website.

Inter Aide and its local partners  – the local NGO BASEDA (operating in Lilongwe and Dedza districts) and its branch for the South region TIMMS –  implemented, trained and are following in coordination with local institutions – District Water Office (DWO) and District Councils networks of hand pump technicians (Area Mechanics) and networks of hand pumps spare parts retailers.
Since 2012, the local social enterprise RUWASO, supported by Inter Aide, is linking this network of partners shops with main suppliers.

In 2016, it’s 388 AM and 150 shops that are providing maintenance services. The map above shows where these projects are now present (Click on it to enlarge it). They are covering an area that represents more than 22 000 boreholes or shallow wells and potential 5 500 000 potential users of these services.

Districts where O&M projects are active are Lilongwe, Dedza, Salima, Dowa, Mchinji, Ntchisi, Zomba, Mulanje and Chiradzulu. Deployment is ongoing in Kasungu and Phalombe.

 This video is illustrating the challenges related to access to water and water points maintenance.