Drilling a borehole and installing a handpump is a common way to improve access to water for rural (and urban) people in many parts of the world. However, the failure of these water points is shockingly high, a third in many African and Asian countries and often much higher.
New communications technology is opening up the possibilities for 'Smart Handpumps' - handpumps that actively record how and when they are used and transmits that data to an organisation who can use that information to (a) mobilise targeted maintenance and repairs; (b) identity priority areas for future improvements and investments; (c) to understand the user needs better, and main other reasons that shift rural water supply away from 'fire-and-forget' projects and towards water services that last and that reach everyone.
Unlocking the Potential for Groundwater for the Poor
A social and natural science approach to enabling sustainable use of groundwater for the benefit of the poor.
Une approche par les sciences sociales et naturelles pour une utilisation durable des eaux souterraines en faveur des populations pauvres
Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor (UPGro), is a new seven-year international research programme which is jointly funded by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It focuses on improving the evidence base around groundwater availability and management in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to enable developing countries and partners in SSA to use groundwater in a sustainable way in order to benefit the poor.
Identifying key factors for private sector success
The study objective was to gain an improved understanding of the problems associated with the rural borehole drilling industry from the point of view of the private sector entrepreneur, and based upon these lessons learned suggest policy mechanisms and business approaches that would improve public/private relations in the endeavour to provide cost-effective and sustainable water supply to the rural poor.
Private drillers form an essential segment of the borehole drilling sector in Africa. More needs to be known about their abilities and the contribution they can make. Case studies of entrepreneurial drilling companies in four African countries are used to illustrate business strategies and common constraints, and possible ways forward.