The Nira AF-85 Pump is a direct action pump for Low Lift Wells. It uses a buoyant pump rod that helps to reduce the forces on the handle. It is designed for heavy-duty use, serving communities of 300 persons. The maximum recommended lift is 15 m. The Nira AF-85 is fully corrosion resistant. It is easy to install and has excellent potential for community-based maintenance. The Nira AF85 pump is not in the public domain. For specifications and information, it is necessary to contact the manufacturer.
The Nira AF-85 Direct Action Handpump is based on a buoyant pump rod that is directly articulated by the user, discharging water at the up- & down stroke. The Nira AF-85 Pump is completely corrosion resistant.


Pump head and standing plate are made of galvanised steel or painted with epoxy paint. The entire handle is made of stainless steel. Pump rods and rising main are made of HDPE pipe, plunger and foot valve of HDPE material. This makes the Nira AF-85 Pump completely corrosion resistant.

Local manufacturing

The Nira AF-85 Pump is a protected product and is not intended for local production. Although, besides the main company in Finland, there is one branch in Ghana (Ghanira) and one in Tanzania (Tanira) assembling this pump locally.

Technical data

Depths to be used:  between 0-15 m
Cylinder diameter:   50 mm
Maximum Stroke: 410 mm
Approx. discharge (75 watt input): at 5 m head:      3 m³/hour
  at 10 m head:    1.8 m³/hour
  at 15 m head:    1.2 m³/hour
Pumping lift:   1 - 15 m,
Population served: ~ 300 people
Households:  30 hh
Water cons: 15 - 20 lt/per capita
Type of well: borehole or dug well


The installation of the Nira AF-85 Pump is easy and does not need any lifting equipment or special tools.


This pump has an excellent “Community Management Potential”. Only simple tools are needed to pull out the entire pumping element as well as the foot valve and rising main. This pump is reliable and popular with the communities.


This pump is like most of the “Direct Action Pumps” (DAP) limited to pumping lifts of a maximum of 15 m. It is recommended however not to go deeper than 12 m.

Distribution:       > 10,000 in Tanzania, Ghana and Mozambique and other African countries.

The mode of operation of a Direct Action Pump

In most direct action handpump designs, the up and down movement of the piston is made by the pump rod with a T-handle
directly connected at the upper end.
The “pump rod” is made of plastic pipes, which are connected by threads and each pipe length is sealed air-tight. With this system, the pump rod pipes are floating in the water of the rising main and therefore reducing the force needed on the up-stroke.
Because of the narrow clearance in diameter between pump rod and rising main (approx. 6 to 10 mm), the pump rod is displacing water during the down-stroke.
This gives the advantage of a water delivery during up- and down-stroke.
Direct action pumps are very simple to handle by the community. Once the riser pipes and pump rod pipes are connected, disconnection for maintenance is not required because these pipes are flexible enough to be pulled from the well or borehole in a big bow.
All “down-hole components” are made of plastic with few rubber parts, which makes the installation easy (light-weight) and also the pump is completely corrosion resistant to aggressive waters.

Further Information


DISCLAIMER: This is a non-RWSN handpump design and endorsement by RWSN, Skat or any of its member organisations should not be inferred.

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